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A Taranki surfer got a close-up glimpse of an orca when it swam by him at the Stent Road surf break near Cape Egmont yesterday.
The orca - also known as a killer whale - was accompanied by two smaller orca.
The black and white mammals are the largest species of the oceanic dolphin family.
New Zealand orcas are the only known orca group that eats stingrays as a staple food and it is not uncommon for them to come close to land in search of food.
The orcas also eat other food such as fish, squid, dolphins, sharks and seals.
- NZHERALD STAFF