Watch: Orcas SWIMMING AROUND a Woman

A woman was swimming on 4 December 2018 at Hahei Beach on the Coromandel peninsular, New Zealand. Then a pod of orcas (killer whales) swam up to her (probably a mother and two calves), and circled her. They kept swimming around her while she was headed to the shore. Especially the mother swam really close to her. A man named Dylan Brayshaw captured the full scene from a drone. The result is the amazing drone footage below.

With Mr. Brayshaw’s own words: “Filmed on 4 December at Hahei Beach on the Coromandel peninsular, New Zealand. I was watching a pod of orcas swimming up the beach, I saw a swimmer swimming along shore directly towards them, at this point I asked my partner to get my mobile phone as I wasn’t sure what would happen and I may have to call for help. The orcas circled her and she got quite the fright. She then got out the water as she was only 20 meters from shore. Some on lookers chatted to her about the experience and then to my surprise she got back into the water and swam back towards the pod, to I assume continue her training swim. I then launched the drone and filmed from a fair distance away making sure not to disturb the pod of orcas. What I witnessed was truly amazing.”
The Story – Orcas approach swimmer EXTRA FOOTAGE

Despite their name, “killer whales” or orcas (scientific name: Orcinus orca) are not considered a threat to humans. Although these amazing and very intelligent animals are capable of taking down much larger and stronger prey than humans (a human versus an orca is like a chicken versus a lion) they have never been known to kill a human.  There were known attacks (none of them were fatal), yes, but they are extremely rare. And these attacks occurred most probably the orca mistook the human for a seal.

In one instance, killer whales tried to tip ice floes on which a dog team and photographer of the Terra Nova Expedition were standing. The sled dogs’ barking is speculated to have sounded enough like seal calls to trigger the killer whale’s hunting curiosity.

In the 1970s, a surfer in California was bitten, and in 2005, a boy in Alaska who was splashing in a region frequented by harbor seals was bumped by a killer whale that apparently misidentified him as prey.

There have been cases of captive orcas killing or injuring their handlers at marine theme parks.

Orcas playing
A mother orca and her calf are playing in the ocean. The killer whale or orca (Orcinus orca) is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family, of which it is the largest member. They are highly social animals; some populations are composed of matrilineal family groups (pods) which are the most stable of any animal species. Their sophisticated hunting techniques and vocal behaviors, which are often specific to a particular group and passed across generations, have been described as manifestations of animal culture. Image: PXHere

Sources

M. Özgür Nevres

I am a software developer, an ex-road racing cyclist, and a science enthusiast. Also an animal lover! I write about the planet Earth and science on this website, ourplnt.com. You can check out my social media profiles by clicking on their icons.

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