A gang of killer whales have been spotted hunting down a larger minke whale on June, 25, 2017 by the Far East Russia Orca Project. This rare glimpse shows a graphic slaughter of a much larger whale species, and this was made possible because of drones. UAVs have been a game changer for the scientific community. Just take a look at Ruptly TV’s YouTube upload:
Where were the Killer Whales Spotted?
The group of killer whales, or orcas, were found at the Avacha Gulf in Kamachatka, Russia.
What Makes This so Special?
The killer whales travelled in a group, which is also known as a pod, and they chased the minke whale until it was fatigued and attacked it. Ruptly TV said that it was a rare event since there were only about 200 documented carnivorous orcas in that specific region, and they only occasionally visit the Avacha Gulf. This photograph by Mike Korostelev, a member of the Far East Russia Orca Project, was captured using a drone:
Killer Whales Sometimes Kill for Fun
Just like a cat, killer whales have also killed their prey for the sake of it. In a drone capture by a team from National Geographic, a group of killer whales attacked a blue whale in Monterey, California. Blue whales are the largest animals known on earth, and there are only a few animals that can kill it, so this drone footage can be used as proof of orcas acting in a rare predatory behavior.
Glimpses of animals in their natural behavior give insights to scientists who can benefit from the research, and drones have been a contributing force to the documentation of various species. The footage seen here is all thanks to drone technology since an aerial perspective is also a unique perspective that does not disturb whale activity. If flown high enough, drones do not interfere with nature. Helicopters can be noisy, so UAVs are perfect for applications such as whale studies.
Drones for Science
Drones have increased the capabilities of monitoring and documenting species. In this case, data is easier to capture with a drone since it is precise and portable. Before, helicopters and survey teams had to go out in the field; the resources and funding for such operations aren’t nearly as convenient as drones. UAVs have not replaced older methods of data collecting, but they have been serving as a great supplementary tool in diverse scientific research fields. Whether it is aerial views or whale watching, there is no doubt that drones are revolutionary to not only photography but science.