WATCH: Shark Week Shares the First Drone Footage of Orca Whales Hunting a Great White Shark

·2 min read
WATCH: Shark Week Shares the First Drone Footage of Orca Whales Hunting a Great White Shark

WARNING: Graphic footage contained in the video

A shocking scene from Shark Week 2022 shows that even great predators can become prey.

As part of Discovery's annual summer celebration of sharks, Shark Week aired Shark House on July 28. The TV special, featuring marine wildlife expert Dickie Chivell, explores the disappearance of great white sharks from the species' once popular hunting grounds in the waters near South Africa.

A recent article in the African Journal of Marine Science found that aggressive killer whales in the area are likely responsible for the absence of great white sharks. Researchers for the article, published on June 29, found that at least two orcas were hunting the large sharks near South Africa. The researchers also discovered evidence that orcas had hunted and killed at least eight great white sharks — often removing the sharks' livers — in the area since 2017, which had caused other sharks to flee South African waters.

Researchers partially based these findings on the examinations of great white carcasses — discovered with orca bite marks and missing livers — that washed up on South Africa's beaches. Shark House contains even clearer evidence. The special includes first-of-its-kind drone footage of three killer whales attacking a great white shark near the shores of South Africa.

RELATED: Watch This Suspenseful Great White Encounter from Shark Week

In the clip, three orcas surround a great white shark, with two whales framing the shark and the other biting the shark from below. The center killer whale brings the great white closer to the surface, biting the dead shark near the liver.

killer whales attacking shark video
killer whales attacking shark video


"This is the world's first drone footage of killer whales predating on a white shark. It's the first time in South Africa it's ever been documented as direct evidence," marine biologist Allison Towner, the lead author of the African Journal of Marine Science article on orcas hunting sharks, told Daily Beast about the moment feature in Shark House.

The special also follows Chivell as he works on an underwater habitat called "Shark House" so he can spend seven days on the sea floor near South Africa, closely observing the area's remaining great white sharks.

To learn more about the great white sharks of South Africa and how killer whales are affecting the population, stream Shark House now on Discovery+.