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Monday, 20 February 2012

Pilot Whale

Pilot Whale, Ballybunion, 19th February 2012.
A Pilot Whale was found by Lisa Fingleton, Rena Blake, Kieran Roughn and Andres Moreno near Kitty’s River on Ballybunion Beach on Sunday morning, 19 February 2012. Local Residents Dr. Joanne O’Brien (Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology and Irish Whale and Dolphin Group) and Dr. Barry O’Donoghue (National Parks and Wildlife Service and Ballybunion Sea and Cliff Rescue) arrived at the scene to record the animal and take some tissue samples for genetic analysis. It was a female, measuring 4.83m in length. Pilot Whales have extremely tight-knit bonds within their herds and are unfortunately, despite their name, one of the species most commonly associated with mass strandings. Pilot Whales are a deep water species, so birders may have the opportunity to see them on pelagic trips.  (Barry O'Donoghue).