Incredibly rare footage of a pod of killer whales hunting a great white shark has been recorded off the Knysna coast, in South Africa.

Donavan Smith, a marine tour guide operating in South Africa’s Western Cape, managed to capture footage of a pair of orcas circling a great white shark while out with clients. Orcas are known to snack on great whites, usually going straight going straight for the liver and leaving the rest to float away and decompose.


The great white shark is visibly afraid as it is shown to be near the boat with the whales just a few metres aways. Smith can be heard saying, ‘this is amazing, this is special stuff,’ as the shark swims past the boat, where its enormity comes into perspective. The orcas are hot on the shark’s tail, engaging in a chase and coming closer to the boat.



The livers of sharks are a favoured delicacy for orcas as they are rather large nutrient-rich. In 2017, a number of great white carcasses washed ashore in Gansbaai, Western Cape. After conducting necropsies, experts uncovered that the livers, stomachs and testicles were missing.

In 2019, five dead broad-nosed seven gill (also known as cow sharks) washed ashore on the Betty’s Bay Main Beach. After undergoing necropsies it was confirmed that the carcasses were killed in the same way as great whites previously.



The orcas essentially split the shark open by grabbing each pectoral fin, flipping the shark over and pulling it apart, splitting open the throat and chest cavity and eventually exposing the liver.