Whales filmed swimming with surfers at Christchurch’s New Brighton beach

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A whale and her calf have been filmed playing with surfers at Christchurch’s New Brighton beach.

The inquisitive Southern Right whales approached the surfers and circled them, while they sat on their boards watching.

Community board member Jo Zervos, who took the video from the New Brighton pier, told Morning Report she’d seen on Facebook that the whales – a mother and calf -were nearby, so headed to the beach for a look.

“I thought I’d pop down to New Brighton and have a look and sure enough, they were heading that way so I went out on the pier and quite a few people had noticed them and had been pointing so there was a bit of a crowded.

“The people in the water were quite unaware until they actually got quite close by. I’ve never seen it before in my whole life and I’ve lived by the beach here over 50 years so it was a really special experience and usually the whales will just swim past, but this time they hung around for about an hour circling back and forward around the each of the pier.

“It was really amazing and they had been probably 100 metres away from the surfers and all of a sudden they decided to go and investigate them and the surfers were just overjoyed and delighted and freaked out at the same time.

“Well, they kind of approach them and they went quite close up to one of them to start with and then … they kind of turned around circled, and headed in between them. So there are two surfers and the whale probably would have been within just one or two metres of the surfers as they passed through.

“Everyone on the pier was watching in awe.”

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