A woman got a surprise on Sunday evening after she spotted a killer whale, or orca, swimming in Warrnambool’s Lady Bay.
Lorrae Harding snapped photos on her phone from the breakwater.
Killer Whales Australia manager David Donnelly said sightings had been reported at both Warrnambool and Port Fairy, and he believed a group of the mammals had been travelling along the coast.
“When they’re in as close as they have been documented, as close as 150 metres off the beach, they might be hunting sting rays,” Mr Donnelly said.
He said group members would collect any images taken of the whales and compare them with those on file in the group’s catalogue, which contains records about sightings in recent years.
The Port Fairy sighting occurred just after 1pm on Sunday.
As soon as the first sighting was reported, the Killer Whales Australia Facebook group shared information to encourage others in the area to keep a look out.
Mr Donnelly said the group was a citizen science project, started in 1994 by a Warrnambool Deakin researcher.
“Basically it’s a citizen science project which receives no funding and we rely 100 per cent on members of community, fisherman or anybody who sees a killer whale and has a camera,” he said.
“We share all that info through social media to help people understand more about killer whales.”