A man attempt to body slam an orca in New Zealand.

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – A video shared by the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) shows a man attempting to body slam an orca off the coast of Devonport, Auckland.

The video was initially shared to Instagram in February, and New Zealand authorities were made aware of the video by a member of the public. The same day, the Devonport Harbour Master and the DOC were alerted to several incidents of people coming to close to the animals.

The video left us genuinely stunned. As well as the initial attempt to dive onto the animal, the man stays in the water and then swims toward it again in a second attempt to touch it. This is stupid behavior and demonstrates a shocking disregard for the welfare of the orca. It is extremely irresponsible.” – DOC Principal Investigation Officer Hayden Loper

The 50-year-old man caught in the video proceeded to swim towards the orca after jumping into the water, eventually shouting that he ‘touched it’ to those on the boat. The man caught a $600 infringement from the DOC.

Orca are immensely powerful animals, and this really could have ended horribly – with either the startled whale being injured, or the man responsible being harmed by the aggravated animal. It’s a very clear breach of the Marine Mammals Protection Act. Orca are classified as whales under conservation legislation and it is illegal to swim with whales, or disturb or harass any marine mammal.” – DOC Principal Investigation Officer Hayden Loper

This is the third time in recent years that content posted or shared to social media has led to a prosecution for the Department of Conservation. The organization encourages the public to continue to tip them off to incidents like this.

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