TODAY |

Orca pod spotted frolicking at Whanganui River mouth

By Connor Stirling 

A pod of orca were spotted frolicking at the mouth of the Whanganui River last night.

One male, two females and calves were spotted near Castlecliff just before 8pm.

The two females and their calves ventured back to open water under the watch of a Department of Conservation ranger.

DOC says they were likely feeding on stingrays.

A family of orcas have been spotted in the Whanganui River. Source: Supplied

Orcas, or killer whales, are the largest of the dolphin family and can grow up to nine metres in length.

Summer sightings of the sea mammals are not uncommon and they’re often seen around New Zealand’s coastlines.

In late 2018, Coromandel woman Judie Johnson found herself surrounded by orcas while swimming at Hahei Beach.

It is illegal to swim within 100 metres of a whale, with a fine of $10,000.