National Geographic has released “Humpback Whales Attempt to Disrupt a Killer Whale Hunt in Antarctica” for its upcoming Disney+ Original series “Animals Up Close with Bertie Gregory.” All six episodes will arrive on Disney+ on Wednesday, September 13, 2023.
While on expedition off the icy coast of Antarctica to film the very rare type B1 killer whales — it’s estimated there are only 100 alive today — National Geographic Explorer and BAFTA Award-winning cinematographer Bertie Gregory (@BertieGregory) filmed two humpback whales interfering as B1 orcas hunted their favorite prey: the Weddell seal, which can weigh up to 1200 pounds. The whales swam over to the site of the attack to disrupt the killer whales from capturing the seal, though they ultimately failed to save its life.
This fascinating moment revealed a phenomenon where one species of marine animal appears to be trying to protect another. Scientists believe that because killer whales occasionally take humpback whale calves for food, this drives the adult humpbacks to try to stop any killer whale hunt they come across. This extraordinary interaction between B1 killer whales and humpback whales can be seen in the “Antarctic Killer Waves” episode of the new natural history series ANIMALS UP CLOSE WITH BERTIE GREGORY.
Bertie and his team sailed for seven days on a 1000-mile boat journey across one of the roughest stretches of ocean on Earth, the Drake Passage, from South America and south along the Antarctic peninsula. Once there, they ventured further to the Gullet — a beautiful, difficult-to-navigate narrow channel that led them to an impassable ice sheet deep in Antarctica. As winter turns to spring, chunks of ice break off from these ice sheets and drift down the Gullet, enabling Weddell seals to use them as a place to rest between feeds.4
Check out the clip below:
Bertie Gregory is back, and this time, the adventures are even more epic! Bertie takes us to the most spectacular corners of our planet — from Antarctica to Africa and South America to Asia – tracking down extraordinary animals to capture their daily lives like never before. Armed with drones, state-of-the-art cameras, and underwater tech, he and his team brave subzero seas, climb snow-capped mountains, and sleep suspended 120 feet in the air to reveal the challenges these animals endure, their fierce rivalries, and the threats they face on our changing planet. ANIMALS UP CLOSE WITH BERTIE GREGORY shows all the behind-the-scenes moments he and his team face while adapting to unpredictable wildlife in remote environments where filming rarely goes as planned. There is no script for this unique series, but through it all, Bertie brings the audience with him every step of the way.
You can watch the trailer for the series below: