Video: 'This is a wild animal just coming to say hi' - Auckland whale watchers treated to special close-up encounter with orca

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A group of whale watchers had a Monday they won't forget in a long time after a close encounter with a curious pod of orcas.

Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari shared the video from Monday's excursion, writing that a female orca broke away from its pod to get "a good look at everybody".

The video shows the friendly orca getting almost close enough to touch the stern of the boat, much to the amazement of those on board.

"This is a wild animal just coming to say hi to you guys," a tour manger can be heard saying on loud speaker.

The excursion company put a warning with the amazing video, reminding boaties that per Marine Mammal Protection Regulations, orcas are whales, which means anyone on the water must remain at least 50m from them.

"In the event that they approach you (such as in this instance), please manoeuvre your vessel to the safe distance and if not possible, stop your vessel and cut the engines."

Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari say they usually head out to the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park where encounters with dolphins and several whale species are common.

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