Orca bites the back of man’s SUP

Orca bites the back of a man's SUP paddleboard. Photo: Screen grab
Orca, with jaws agape, is about to bite the back of a man’s SUP paddleboard. Photo: Screen grab

An orca surfaced next to a stand-up paddleboarder off New Zealand on Monday and checked him out for a few minutes before swimming up behind him and biting the back of his paddleboard.

"I was definitely shaking at the knees," Luke Reilly told the Daily Mail.

Reilly of Coromandel had heard that a couple of orcas were swimming around near the beach, so he grabbed his board and GoPro camera, and paddled out 220 yards. There he saw two killer whales diving for stingrays, according to 3 News New Zealand.

Suddenly, one orca surfaced right next to him.

"It hung around looking at me and checking me out, watching, and then it slowly came up and grabbed the back of my board," O'Reilly told Daily Mail.

"I never thought it would grab the back of the board and take a look at me. It sort of mouthed it and gave it a bit of a wobble and sat next to me, and when I redirected the camera and looked down, it was just cruising next to me."

In his video, the bite occurs around the 15-second mark:

"I don't know what would have happened if I'd have fallen in," Reilly told Daily Mail. "I probably would have got a fright.

"It was quite scary, but I don't know what I was thinking. I think I was kind of relieved by the end of it. I kind of had a laugh…

"Everyone thinks I'm nuts. A lot of people just can't believe it."

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