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Orca spotted in Scottish waters leaves wildlife watchers 'jumping for joy'

John Coe, the whale spotted in the Moray Firth. Credit: Sivako Photography

A 'rare' sighting of an orca in waters off Scotland has piqued the interest of wildlife watchers.

The mammal was seen at Chanonry Point in the Moray Firth, an area more frequently inhabited by dolphins.

Local wildlife enthusiasts say the whale is a male known as John Coe, part of a pod named the West Coast Community. He can be identified by missing chunks in its dorsal fin and tail.

Phil Clark, 39, and his wife Lynette were among those who rushed to the area to spot the mammal.

The amateur photographer told the Press Association: “My wife is daft on sealife and as soon as we got word that there was an orca in the Moray Firth we left our house in Inverness immediately.

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“We were getting a few updates on our way from a few other watchers and couldn’t believe our luck when we arrived and spotted him almost immediately, John Coe!

“Lynette went on and on about trying to go see this pod, especially John Coe.

“To then have him turn up in our area, she and the other watchers did have a scream and jump for joy.”

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It is rare for orca to be spotted in the Moray Firth, although the area is known as a good location to spot dolphins.

It was also reported another orca was seen alongside John Coe – but it has not been photographed or identified conclusively.

Last week a team of rescuers worked to save a sperm whale trapped in a loch in Durness, at the northern tip of Scotland. The 30ft mammal had become entangled in a net, needing assistance to be freed.