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Orcas have a reputation for being aggressive in captivity and certainly earn their reputation as top
predator in the wild. Certain pods even hunt and eat great white sharks. In reality, orcas are big dolphins
that are just as curious and playful as any of their marine mammal cousins. According to orca researchers,
Johnson was never in any danger. An orca has never bitten a human in the wild.
Still, Johnson’s initial feelings of fear over-rid her excitement. She left the water for the relative
safety of the beach, only to return to the sea and the pod. The pod that was likely made up of a female,
juvenile, and calf circled, dove beneath, and got within arm’s reach of Johnson. Dylan Brayshaw, a
visiting tourist, was flying his drone during the encounter and recorded the four swimming peacefully.
What a one-in-a-million encounter!
Check out the footage below:
This isn’t the first time orcas have made headlines in New Zealand. This past November, a pod
used that trademark dolphin curiosity to investigate a pair of kayakers. Just a few weeks later, an even larger pod surrounded a whale watching boat after months away from New Zealand waters. October-
March are the best times to see orcas, when they’re taking advantage of the stingray buffet in the warm summer waters. We don’t know about you, but we’re packing our bags for New Zealand!
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