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Watch: Curious killer whale checks out selfie stick in breath-taking underwater footage filmed by Kiwi scientist in Antarctica

A New Zealand scientist has captured incredible underwater footage of a killer whale in Antarctic waters, while sitting on the edge of the ice.

Dr Regina Eisert from the University of Canterbury filmed the encounter with a selfie stick in the Ross Sea, while collecting biopsy samples from whales.

"I put my whalfie stick [a whale selfie stick] in the water as soon as I saw it come close and waited to see what would happen," Dr Eisert says.

"It made a beeline for; bumped the camera with its nose, opened its mouth and showed me a piece toothfish inside, as though it was trying to get me to take it.

"It was really special, the only way I can describe it is like when a cat offers you a mouse."

Dr Eisert is studying Type-C killer whales in Antarctica in order to gain an understanding of how many there are in the region, where they live and what they eat.

Her research includes how whales would be affected by a change in toothfish availability due to commercial fishing.

"Here I am carrying out research to help protect the Ross Sea region and find out whether or not the whales eat toothfish, and one comes up showing me it does.

"Whales are highly social and there has been an instance in the past where a leopard seal offered a diver a penguin, but I’ve never had an experience quite like this," she says.