It was trip designed to capture the perfect shot and they were prepared to wait patiently for five months to ensure they got it.

Now the results of the wait can be viewed as the camera crew captured spectacular footage of a family of killer whales hunting for seals.

The dramatic scenes were filmed last summer as the orcas visited Shetland.
The incredible hunt will be shown as part of an hour-long documentary, Wild Shetland: Scotland’s Viking Frontier, to be shown on BBC One Scotland next week.

Narrated by Hollywood star Ewan McGregor, the programme also follows otter cubs, puffins and other native wildlife as they battle the seasons on the most northerly Scottish islands.

The orcas, three generations led by a senior female, are filmed under the water and from above by drone, as they circle pupping harbour seals taking refuge on rocks.

As the tide rises, the seals are forced to abandon their haul-outs and swim to safety, while the predators work as a team to corner and catch them.

Conservation biologist Jackie Savery, who produced and directed the programme for Glasgow-based filmmakers Maramedia, said: “The orca hunting was as good as we could possibly have hoped for. Orca hunting in Shetland is becoming increasingly common but it’s not every season and you don’t know if or when they are going to arrive.

“To have our camera team in the right place at the right time to capture the whole extent of a hunt with two cameras and a drone, is really

"These are among the top predators in the world and we were thrilled when the footage came back. To get a sense of how they are working the coastline is remarkable.” 

Wild Shetland; Scotland’s Viking Frontier is on BBC One Scotland, Wednesday 
at 9pm.