Two orcas are spotted off the coast of CORNWALL

A pair of killer whales named John Coe and Aquarius have been spotted off the coast of Cornwall for the first time in over a decade by a group of wildlife experts.


This is the first sighting of members of the UK's only resident population of orcas, usually based off the west coast of Scotland, travelling this far south, says the Cornwall Wildlife Trust team that spotted the pair.

The pod they belong to, known as the West Coast Community, is made up of four males, including John Coe and Aquarius, as well as four females.  

The two males were spotted on Wednesday swimming off the west coast of Cornwall, near the Minack Theatre, an open air venue on the cliffs of Penzance.

The orcas were identified as part of the UK group by the shape and notches of their dorsal fins, and patches of colouration near their eyes and on their backs.

The two killer whales form part of the West Coast Community.

This is a specialised pod of eight individuals from the Hebrides.

They can be distinguished from other groups of orcas by their unusual sloping eye patch and larger size.

Although they are regularly monitored, some have not been seen in recent years and there have been no calves observed since monitoring began in the 1990s.

The West Coast group is normally made up of four males and four females, residing int he Hebrides in Scotland, so it is unusual to see them so far south.

The four males in the group are John Coe, Floppy Fin, comet and Aquarius, with four females known as Nicola, Moneypenny, Puffin and Occasus.