Lough Swilly host to killer whale orca pod

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A group of Donegal fishermen got more than they bargained for on Wednesday when they spotted a pod of killer whales.

They were in Lough Swilly where they had been fishing for the day.

Kevin Doherty was one of the fishermen.

"We set out for a day's fishing in Lough Swilly.

"We were getting packed up for the day to go home when one of the men said they had seen a whale.

"It was obvious straight away from the size and colour that it was an orca.

"There were six in total, it was just fantastic", he said.

"My heart was pounding and there was a bit of fear because we were in a small boat surrounded by these large whales.

"We just tried to keep our distance. We enjoyed the moment at the same time.

"The orcas, which must have been up to 25ft, could be heard calling to each other which was amazing. You cannot hear it in the footage but it was like a song.

Emmet Johnston is from the group baskingshark.ie. He was delighted at the sighting.

"We've been waiting seven or eight years for this pod to come back.

"They were here around 2005 around Kinnego Bay. People did doubt that it was a pod of killer whales.

"We are now sure it is the same pod because i recognised one of them as a well-known whale.

"It's incredible to see them so close. They were very graceful. These animals are kings of the seas.

"We would like to thank the fishermen who spotted the whales and would encourage all fishermen to report further sightings to us.

"It is hard to know where the whales are as they appeared to be making their way around the coast,"he said.

Irish waters are home to 24 species of whales and dolphins and killer whales are just one of them.

In 1977 a killer whale, nick-named 'Dopey Dick,' swam into Lough Foyle in pursuit of a late salmon run. He stayed in the lough for several days before being coaxed back out to sea.

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