THIS is the horror moment when a 13 foot great white shark tears down a humpback whale THREES the size in a freezing attack.
The underwater beast, known as Helen, managed to ambush the unsuspecting whale in waters just off the coast of South Africa.
Incredible drone footage filmed by marine biologist Ryan Johnson captured the “strategic kill” in July 2020.
He suggested that the shark was a sophisticated predator that was not intimidated by its opponent’s strength or size.
Helen killed her prey in about 50 minutes after severing an artery on the whale’s tail before going to the head and drowning it.
The humpback whale is believed to have been in poor health after being caught in a net.
It was the first time a great white shark was filmed killing the species.
Ryan, a research coordinator at Blue Wilderness Research, told the Times, “The shark was very strategic, there was no hesitation, it was like it knew exactly how to go about it.
“The first hit was on the whale’s tail, the thin part over the tail fins where she could get her mouth all the way around.
“She managed to open a vein and immediately blood started pouring out.”
The attack happened in February when the whale was isolated for several months and was trapped in a discarded fishing line.
The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) was briefed on the humpback whale’s plight before Ryan went downstairs to assess the situation.
After the great white’s first strike, the 13-foot beast “tactically withdrew” and watched their prey deteriorate.
Helen launched her attack again 30 minutes later as the whale weakened before dragging it underwater.
Ryan explained: “She started walking towards the head and managed to hold on. Though she was only a fraction of his weight, she attempted to turn him over and pull him down to get his blowhole underwater, apparently with an effort to drown him.”
The ocean expert revealed he had to change his drone’s battery six times during the protracted attack.
He added: “She managed to weigh him down underwater and he just wouldn’t come up.
“Helen seemed very informed about what she was doing, which made me curious as to whether she was a skilled whale killer, acting on instinct, or relying on sheer intelligence in noting that her prey was weak.”
The ruthless great white shark was named Helen by marine researchers who were impressed by her skills.
One of Helen’s regular hunting grounds has traditionally been Cape Town’s False Bay, but she has avoided it in recent years.
Their kind are feared thanks to their size, fearsome teeth, and stealth, which is a deadly combination for their prey.
But Ryan believes the humpback whale’s circumstances played a crucial role in the shark’s successful bid for the dinner.
He added: “From what I found, this was truly the first verified report of a shark successfully killing a live whale.
“I think this behavior is very rare and requires a number of aspects that all come together to be possible.
“A weak whale flying through a large white hot spot and then a large and confident great white encountering it.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5951657/great-white-shark-tears-apart-humpback-whale-chillling-attack/ Terrifying moment 13 foot great white shark takes down humpback whale THIS size in a freezing cold attack