Killer whales seen off South Coast

A pod of killer whales has made an appearance near Montague Island, sparking hope the creatures may have put the area back on their itinerary after many years' absence. Three females and a male sporting the distinctive extra-large dorsal fin were spotted 500m off the island last Thursday. Senior Batemans Marine Park officer Julian Brown said the sighting was the second in as many years after a long hiatus."In recent times killer whales have become infrequent visitors to the NSW coast, due in part to a reduction in their prey from historic whale and seal harvesting," he said. "It is the first time I have seen killer whales in the wild and I feel exceptionally privileged."They would have come from the Southern Ocean - they tend to prefer the colder water."The water at the moment is quite cold and there's a lot of seals so that's probably why they're around."Mr Brown called on the community to report killer whale sightings to the Marine Parks Authority. Thursday's sighting follows the discovery near Eden last week of a humpback whale carcass thought to be the mother of the euthanased orphan calf Collette. A spokesperson for National Parks and Wildlife Service said DNA tests linking the carcass to the calf were continuing.

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