Rare treat for local whale watchers

Whale watchers off the coast of Mirissa had a rare encounter on December 29 with two killer whales while on a whale watching tour.

Killer whales are predominantly found in cold waters and the first photographic record of one in the warm tropical waters off Kalpitiya was made in early March this year. Usually it is the blue whales, hump-backed whales and sperm whales that are seen off the Sri Lankan coast.

This time, Chitral Jayatilake and his crew from Walkers Tours and guests on board including Shiranee Yasaratne of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) spotted the two killer whales 12 miles off shore swimming gracefully southwards. The pair appeared to be a mother and calf.

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