Over his years paddling on the ocean around New Zealand, kayaker Nathan Pettigrew has become familiar with a number of Orca that frequent the waters to fish and eat. One Orca he named Pickles is easy to identify because he’s missing part of his dorsal fin. It might be that the whale had his fin bitten off by a shark, or possibly by another orca. In any event, since 2010, Nathan has spotted Pickle several times. And, it turns out, the young Orca recognizes him too!
In the video below, Nathan is out paddling when his Orca friend comes over to say ‘hello’. “Watching him grow over the last 5 years has been amazing, especially after a break, at one point, from not seeing him for 18 months or so,” Nathan says of Pickles in his video’s description.
Nathan always tries to keep a healthy distance between himself and the whales, but it can be difficult in a kayak, especially if Pickles wants to come and say ‘hi’. And to reassure everyone, Nathan says he does not touch Pickle or any other whales he encounters.
Watch his visit with Pickles in the video below and share this unusual encounter with your family and friends!