Displaying items by tag: Dopey Dick
#DopeyDick - A killer whale who gained notoriety after swimming up the River Foyle in the late 1970s has been rediscovered enjoying his retirement off the west coast of Scotland, as the Derry Journal reports.
It's more than 38 years since the orca astounded the people of Derry by swimming up the estuary and hanging around the city for a number of days, earning the name 'Dopey Dick' for shrugging off attempts to lure him back to the safety of open water.
His whereabouts thereafter were unknown -- till cetacean experts with the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust compared old photographs of his Derry visit with more recent images of the unique orca community that makes its home off the western Scottish coast, and identified a positive match.
Comet, as the orca is properly known, is estimated to be at least 58 years old, double the usual life expectancy for the species.
But that's not so surprising for the orca pod referred to as the 'West Coast Community', which has been a regular visitor to Irish waters over the years, and has interested marine wildlife specialists for decades due to its "evolutionary significant" qualities.
Sadly that group's numbers have been dwindling, with fellow orca Lulu becoming the latest victim after its believed she was entangled in fishing gear early this year, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.