Incredible footage has emerged showing the moment a swimmer was greeted by a pair of inquisitive killer whales. Not something you see every day:
Steve Morris was the lucky man who encountered the unusual meet-up when he went for a dip in the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand last Sunday 18 April, describing the experience as the 'best day of my life'.
After spotting eight orcas nearby, the 46-year-old whipped out his camera to capture the pod, only for one to swim by within arm's length of him.
The killer whale then rocked up with one of its mates and the curious pair hovered in the sea while staring at Steve, looking like they'd come up to say hello.
Not wanting to appear rude, the logistics marketer gave them a wave back before they returned to their pod.
Steve, from Tauranga, New Zealand, said: "It was pretty much the best day of my life this morning. The encounter was epic, something I've dreamed about ever since I started swimming.
"The orca were extremely close, barely a metre away. I have never seen this face to face interaction before but I have dreamt about it.
"At first when I saw the two break away from the rest of the pod it was a bit unnerving. But when I realised they had just come to say hello, I just enjoyed the experience.
"It seemed a lot longer but probably only an additional 30 seconds on top of what was in the videos.
"I had no fear but certainly respected them as they are powerful wild animals after all. Luckily they are also extremely intelligent and don't harm people other than those that keep them captive.
"I was swimming with half a dozen friends when we first encountered them towards the end of our swim.
"The pod was well spread out and I was by myself when the encounters on video happened. My friends were watching other members of the pod."
Steve added that he's run a local swim squad called The Seamen Ocean Swim Squad for the past five years where he's enjoyed swimming with seals, rays and octopus.
While he's seen orca twice before, nothing beats his latest encounter.
He concluded: "I have been ocean swimming in the area for about 10 years and have only seen orca twice before, but never this up close and nowhere near as magical."
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