Long ago, in the early 1900s, a macabre yet somehow touching relationship was formed between a group of Australian whale hunters and a pod of orcas. The humans and the killer whales would work together and share the task of hunting and killing baleen whales. They'd share the work of bringing down the huge beasts and reap the spoils mutually: the orcas, who are the ocean's top predators, would eat the faces (grisly, indeed) of the baleen whales and the human whale hunters would then haul the rest of the carcasses to shore to be harvested for their blubber. "The orcas were like members of the family," says Greg McKee, a filmmaker whose research on this subject was made into a documentary called Killers in Eden. The relationship between the humans and the orcas was surprisingly tender and compassionate-- the humans would free any orcas that may get caught in the whale hunting ropes and the orcas would protect human hunters from sharks if they were to tumble out of the whaling boats, which happened somewhat frequently.
Of course it can't be ignored that this is a horrible story when you think of what was happening to the baleen whales. That's unquestionably wrong. But it's nonetheless a fascinating account of the only documented story ever of man and orca working together like this. And there's never been a story like it since, with humans and animals coming together for a mutually beneficial end result. The bottom line is, orcas don't naturally hunt humans in the wild and in these unusual circumstances, the orcas actually became partners with the humans. Truly amazing creatures.