Killer whales spotted off the Cornish coast for the first time in 50 years
Killer whales haven't been spotted this far south in five decades
Killer whales or orcas are some of the most intelligent creatures on the planet and though you don't associate them with Britain as much as America, we do have a few of them round our way.
That being said, it has been confirmed that a pod of killer whales (Latin name, Orcinus orca) has recently been spotted off the coast of Cornwall, after reports of orcas being spotted swimming around the Hebrides and Lochboisdale, Scotland, surfaced. Magic
According to experts, this is the most southerly these creatures have been since 1970. The Sea Watch Foundation, Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT), and the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) have been monitoring the small numbers known to navigate around the UK, with many of them having been around for the last sighting too.
Dr Peter Evans, Director of Sea Watch Foundation, is one of them and he even helped name one of the most notable whales, 'John Coe'. Evans said he was given the moniker after "a character in a book called Mile Zero by Thomas Sanchez about a freed slave who became a student of the sea".
He went on to say: "It seemed a fitting name for this great wanderer of the ocean who must know the waters around Britain and Ireland better than most". Gotta love the enigmatic mystery of old maritime culture.
Science and Conservation Manager, Dr Lauren Hartny-Mills of the HWDT, said: "We are all absolutely thrilled that John Coe and Aquarius have been seen again,’ she said.
She went on to say that "Most of what we know about animals like John Coe and Aquarius [another known female orca] is thanks to dedicated members of the public who send in their sightings and photographs of whales and dolphins to citizen science sightings schemes run by regional charities like Whale Track".
Their work is important as killer whales continue to be threatened from pollution in regional waters and, sadly, this particular pod of orcas may die out in our lifetime.
All marine wildlife is endangered by human activities like climate change, entanglement, pollution; underwater noise and habitat degradation and more. We need to learn more about them and be more conscious of our environmental impact to ensure their survival.