In the middle of February, the sea lions receive the second visit of their most feared predators – the killer whales.
The orcas also have young who must be taught how to hunt, and the peninsula is the best training ground. The sea lion colonies are full of young, inexperienced pups, playing on the shore, and hundreds of adults going into and out of the sea to feed. Food is everywhere, and what’s more it’s easy to catch.
With the enemy around, everyone is on their guard.
This is a single family group, and it’s on the watch, scanning the beach in search of prey. They won’t have to wait long.
After waiting for them to pass by, a sea lion decides to enter the sea.
The female leading the group of orcas has seen it, and they all turn back. It’s the chance they had been waiting for.
The sea lion has just realised, but now it’s too late. Its fate has been decided.
The male desperately tries to reach the shore, his only hope of salvation, but he has swum too far out, and the orcas will not let him escape.
The young actively participate in hunting. They have to learn how to kill, and dodge the attacks of the wounded sea lion.
The killer whales are in no hurry. Their victim is fatally wounded and has no chance of escaping. Better to be patient and wait for it to weaken while they practice attacks on it.
After several minutes of fighting, the sea lion is as far away from the coast as at the start. All efforts will be futile against one of the largest and most intelligent predators in the ocean.
The killer whales attack in family groups, led by the oldest female. Each group has its own communication sounds, and hunting techniques which they practice with the young. This organisation enables them to hunt not only fish, sea lions and elephant seals, but even sharks and large cetaceans.
Little by little, blood loss and the exertion weaken the prey. Attacks become increasingly slow and spaced out. Very soon, it will no longer be able to defend itself, and will die.
After a struggle that has lasted over 45 minutes, the elephant seal dies and is devoured by the family of killer whales. Slowly, calm returns to the sea.