There's been some very sad news for the UK's West Coast Community orca population!
An orca known as 'Lulu' was found dead yesterday on Tiree in Scotland. There may now be as few as eight individuals left in this population.
The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust stated:
"We have some sad news to report: one of the West Coast Community of killer whales known as 'Lulu' was found dead yesterday on Tiree. She was last photographed by us from Silurian off Waternish, Isle of Skye in July 2014. Dr Andy Foote, a killer whale specialist, confirmed the photo-id match which was made using the distinctive eye and saddle patches which are unique to individuals. TheScottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme are hoping to conduct an examination which might shed light on the cause of death. It is particularly sad to know that another one of these killer whales, unique to the British and Irish Isles has died. There may be as few as 8 individuals remaining in this population, which has not produced calves since studies began."
The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust also holds the West Coast Community identification catalogue.