Footage shows killer whales hunt down and kill a lone minke whale

  • Pod of orca whales are seen hunting and killing a minke whale
  • Footage show the orcas chasing down the lone, larger, whale
  • The incident took place in the  Avachinsky Gulf of the Pacific Ocean

Sara Malm for MailOnline

This incredible rare footage shows the moment a pod of orcas hunt down and kill a lone minke whale.

The pod of six orcas, both young and adults, are seen chasing down and surrounding the minke whale, before tearing it apart.

The video also captions the minke whale’s final heartwrenching gasps of pain as the orcas sink their teeth into it.

Scroll down for video 

Hunters: One of the killer whales has torn off a large chunk of the underside of the minke

Hunters: One of the killer whales has torn off a large chunk of the underside of the minke

Hunters: One of the killer whales has torn off a large chunk of the underside of the minke

Fact of life: The minke whale appears to be gasping for air as it is attacked

Fact of life: The minke whale appears to be gasping for air as it is attacked

Fact of life: The minke whale appears to be gasping for air as it is attacked

The deadly chase took place in the Avachinsky Gulf of the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of far-east Siberia. 

The wildlife photographer Mike Korostelev was out filming the whales for the Russian Orca project, when he spotted the animals beginning their hunt. 

‘It was incredible to see the hunt – they’re quite rare to see. Usually we see other orcas who feed on fish, but never on a whale.

He says he was thrilled to not only have seen this unusual happening, but to have caught it on camera too. 

Killers: The pod of six orca whales, both young and old, are seen chasing the minke, which is swimming underneath them

Killers: The pod of six orca whales, both young and old, are seen chasing the minke, which is swimming underneath them

Killers: The pod of six orca whales, both young and old, are seen chasing the minke, which is swimming underneath them

Biting down: One of the orcas takes a bit out of the tail of their pray

The deadly chase took place in the Avachinsky Gulf of the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of far-east Siberia

The deadly chase took place in the Avachinsky Gulf of the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of far-east Siberia

The deadly chase took place in the Avachinsky Gulf of the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of far-east Siberia

The moment was caputred by wildlife photographer Mike Korostelev who was out filming the whales for the Russian Orca project

The moment was caputred by wildlife photographer Mike Korostelev who was out filming the whales for the Russian Orca project

The moment was caputred by wildlife photographer Mike Korostelev who was out filming the whales for the Russian Orca project

Taken down: The orcas rip the minke whale apart, piece by piece, while it is still alive

Taken down: The orcas rip the minke whale apart, piece by piece, while it is still alive

Taken down: The orcas rip the minke whale apart, piece by piece, while it is still alive

Final breaths: The video also captions the minke whale’s final heartwrenching gasps of pain as the orcas sink their teeth into it

No escape: The minke whale makes several attempts to escape, but is overpowered by the six-whale strong pod of orcas

No escape: The minke whale makes several attempts to escape, but is overpowered by the six-whale strong pod of orcas

No escape: The minke whale makes several attempts to escape, but is overpowered by the six-whale strong pod of orcas

He added: ‘I felt really happy and privileged to see such a rare wildlife moment. 

‘I’ve only seen footage of this kind of hunt once before, again of orcas hunting for a whale. It was in the sea of Okhotsk, Russia.’

The ferocious creatures are intelligent apex predators, and are often referred to as ‘Killer Whales’.

Despite this, the are not members of the whale family. Orcas are oceanic dolphins – or sea-living dolphins, living and hunting in pods.