Rarely spotted killer whale witnessed hunting dolphins off the coast of Cork
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Rarely spotted killer whale witnessed hunting dolphins off the coast of Cork

A KILLER whale has been spotted off the coast of west Cork.

The killer whale was witnessed in full flow by passengers aboard a charter boat travelling 15 miles south of Galley Head in West Cork.

The ocean’s largest predator, the whale was spotted bearing down on a group of dolphins, with an expert later confirming the whale was attacking them.

Though native to Irish waters, sightings of killer whales are uncommon in the region with as few as four spotted throughout the average year.

Speaking to Breaking News, David Edwards, who operates West Cork Charters in Timoleague near Clonakilty detailed the encounter, which occurred on Tuesday, May 21st, at around 6pm.

“I thought it was a killer whale,” he said, “but it's so rare to see them I wasn't sure at first. Then I saw it was chasing the dolphins and I was just amazed.

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"I think there were three killer whales in total but it's so hard to tell with all that action going on...It happens so fast. There were dolphins swimming away in front of them as well, not too far ahead.”

According to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) sightings of killer whales in the region are rare enough but sightings of them exhibiting predatory behaviour is even rarer still.

The West Cork coast has become something of a hotbed for whale sightings in recent times, with several different species spotted in the region over the past few years.