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Extraordinarily close encounter between scientist and killer whale caught on camera

Extraordinarily close encounter between scientist and killer whale caught on camera

Extraordinarily close encounter between scientist and killer whale caught on camera

A killer whale, who came up close and personal with a scientist has confirmed the mammals do in fact eat toothfish and in the process helped protect its home.

Filmed in the waters of Antarctica, the astonishing footage shows the young mammal headbutting marine expert Dr Regina Eisert’s camera, described as a “whale selfie stick.” The creature then opens its mouth and chews on some toothfish before swimming away.

Eisert captured the footage while researching in the Marine Protected area in the Ross Sea region early last week. Her research is being undertaken to improve our understanding of their population size, where they live and what they eat.

Until now there had been very little scientific evidence the marine mammals ate the fish.

The University of Canterbury marine mammal expert was standing on the edge of the sea ice collecting biopsy samples from adult whales when a juvenile Type-C Killer Whale swam towards her.

Eisert was thrilled by the meeting and even suggested that the whale had been offering her some of his food. “Killer footage confirms toothfish on the menu,” she wrote in an Instagram post alongside the video. “And the whales are happy to share.

“A young killer whale approached us on the sea ice in Antarctica to offer us a piece of toothfish. I love these guys.”

Eisert’s research is supported by Antarctica New Zealand and the Pew Charitable Trust through a Marine Conservation Fellowship.

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