Humpback whale spotted off Pembrokeshire coast peering out of the water

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It's not the first time a rare species of mammal has appeared in welsh waters. Credit: Ffion Rees - Flacon Boats

A humpback whale has been spotted by tourists on a boat trip while exploring the Pembrokeshire coastline.

Locals watched as the animal raised its head above water and slapped the waves with its fin.

Nature-lover Ffion Rees, who was running the boat trip, said she had never seen a humpback whale in the 27 years she had been out on the Pembrokeshire waters.

She turned the engine off to watch the whale along with her 12 passengers and was able to capture a few pictures of the mammal.

Ffion said: "It spent about 15 minutes at or near the surface not moving very far between 20 to 50m away."It did a bit of spy-hopping - lifting its head out to look around - and a couple of pectoral slaps. It mooched around before leaving the area."

"I was very excited at the time, I'd never seen one in person before but it was very thin, you could see its ribs. I think it was quite likely to be a youngster.

"It was an amazing sight, but it was also very sad, to see it in that condition."

The Mammal was spotted on Tuesday off the coast of Pembrokeshire Credit: Ffion Rees - Flacon Boats

It comes just three months after loveable Artic walrus Wally left Tenby in Pembrokeshire for new adventures.

Ffion who also works in the Antarctic peninsular as a driver and lecturer explained that the humpback whale has made a remarkable recovery over the years as the species has bounced back from near extinction.

"Almost all whales were nearly hunted to extinction at one point, and now the humpback species are growing in numbers, which is really positive. They are no longer on the IUCN Red List for threatened species," she said.

The species can grow up to 55ft long and weigh up to 40 tons and feeds on krill and small fish.

The creatures also feature pleats on the lower jaw which expand to allow them to take in more than their body weight in water.


Read more about the adventures of Wally the Walrus: