With the predator lurking close behind, the intended prey takes flight - quite literally.
This flying stingray was trying to avoid the attentions of the aptly-named killer whale, which was ready to take a bite out of the fish when the stingray made its leap for safety.
While stingrays seem most content to spend their days lying at the bottom of the sea-bed, occasionally sticking their stingers into unassuming human feet, this one proved they can be moved to flights of fancy when needed.
The stingray leaps out of the water as it is hunted by an orca, whose fin can be seen breaking the surface
The encounter was captured in calm waters just off St. Heliers beach in Auckland, New Zealand, yesterday.
Five or six orcas gathered in the morning sun to feast on the stingrays resting near the shore, while another 30 orcas hung around at the back of the harbour.
A huge crowd gathered to watch the spectacle.
Schoolchildren - who dashed out of class to watch the display - said the whales came right up to the shoreline and 'you would have been able to touch them if you'd tried to reach out'.
Some of the 'spectacles' - if an animal eating another animal can be called such a thing - included a whale flipping a stingray into the air before catching it in the mouth.
Another whale flipped onto its side and struck a sea-gull in midflight. The bird fell stunned into the water, providing another tasty morsel.
The whales receded with the tide at about 10.30am, their bellies full.
Pictured: Aerial escape as stingray takes flight from hungry killer whale | Mail Online