Devastating, First-Of-Its-Kind Footage Shows Final Moments Of Dying Orca’s Life


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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First-of-its-kind footage shared on Facebook in early November showed what’s believed to be the last moments of an orca’s life.

The video, filmed by Pierre Robert de Latour, showed an older male orca, known to researchers as Hunchy, surrounded by two younger orcas who appeared to be trying to save his life. It’s a gut wrenching clip. Hunchy is clearly struggling to breathe, and the younger whales seem “desperate” to help him, Robert de Latour told Live Science following the event.

The situation occurred Nov. 6 during an expedition north of the island Loppa in Norway, according to Live Science. Despite the frigid temperatures, Robert de Latour jumped into the water with Hunchy and his orca friends to see what was going on. “It was obvious that he was in trouble,” the researcher noted.

Robert de Latour noted Hunchy’s strangely shaped stomach, suggesting the orca hadn’t eaten for quite some time, according to Live Science.

“It’s the first time for me seeing something like this. I recognized him — it was very emotional — and then I saw his giant body sinking,” he continued. “It is said that orcas don’t abandon individuals that are in trouble.”

The two younger whales kept moving back and forth from Hunchy to another group of orcas nearby. They stayed with Hunchy for more than 50 minutes before his soul finally moved on to the next big adventure. (RELATED: 46,000-Year-Old Creature Revived From Permafrost, Scientists Say)

“To my knowledge, the death of an adult member of the group, and how the other [orcas] behave in that instance when an adult is dying, is something that has not been observed before,” Filipa Samarra, Icelandic Orca Project’s principal investigator, told Live Science.

I’m not crying. You’re crying.