Killer whales have been spotted just 100 yards off the north coast of Cornwall, between Newquay and Padstow. Although a rare sight for the area, a number of reports have been received of people seeing killer whales in the last 10 days.
One of the whale spotters is an ocean scientist, who believes he spotted a mother and calf near to Trevose Head, five miles from Padstow. He was on foot, walking along the cliff, at the time and saw them heading south towards Newquay, 10 miles along the coast. There is a small colony of grey seals, living off Towan Head at Newquay, which is a popular food source for whales. Others who spotted the whales were bid spotters, with binoculars, who managed to get a good clear view of them.
Killer whales (Orcinus orca), are also known as orcas; they can grow up to 30′ long, weighing up to nine tonnes.
They have a very distinctive, triangular, dorsal fin that can grow up to six feet high.
Killer whales are mostly found around Iceland, Norway and northern Scotland, but occasionally some are seen as far south as the Atlantic coasts of Spain and Portugal and east into the Mediterranean.
** Archived December 2011 **