Rare and ‘elegant’ baby Orca named ‘Pompey’ after being spotted off Falkland Islands beach by passionate supporter
‘MAGICAL’ orcas and scenery have been photographed by a Portsmouth supporter – who named one after her beloved club.
By Freddie Webb Portsmouth News
Sarah May Bonner, originally from Lawrence Road, Southsea, took eye-catching killer whale snaps in the Falkland Islands. She was strolling along the beach on Sealion Island on January 10 – basking ‘in beautiful sunshine’ – when she saw the majestic creatures.
The Falkland Islands resident, who moved there when she was 18, told The News: ‘It’s such an amazing feeling to be able to see them. I had that whole beach to myself. It was almost magical. They’re so elegant going through the water. It’s hard to describe.’
A passionate Portsmouth FC supporter took some stunning pictures of orcas off the coast of Sealion Island, Falkland Islands. L to R: Sarah May Bonner and the pod of orcas, including parents Baba and Guido, with baby Pompey.
The 34-year-old’s husband Alan won a trip for them to Sealion Island with a £20 raffle ticket. Mrs Bonner was hoping to get some ‘nice pictures of penguins’ at 5.40pm when she saw the pod of orcas.
She has seen killer whales in the flesh before before, but was surprised. ‘It’s still a shock because the adult male I saw was the biggest fin I’d ever seen,’ she added. ‘Killer whales don’t stay around the Falklands very often and usually go away for a while and come back.’
The learning support assistant sent the pictures to the Elephant Seal Research Group, who monitor animal populations on the islands. She was given permission to name the youngest calf as it was the first documented sighting.
With the sex of the animal being unknown, and Sarah being taken, she decided to name it after Portsmouth FC – being a supporter since the age of six.
‘Pompey’ the baby orca. Mrs Bonner is the first person to have seen the calf. Picture: Sarah May Bonner.
‘It’s quite a big thing because it’s not a pet, but other people in the world will call it by that name,’ she said. ‘I wanted a gender neutral name and knew one of my biggest loves in life is football.
‘I’ve been supporting Portsmouth since I was really really young, so I decided to go with Pompey. My dad’s motto is “where you are born is who you support”, so I had to support them no matter what. My first game was a brilliant experience.’
Mrs Bonner plans on living in the Falklands for the rest of her life and is hoping for the Orcas to return. ‘I would imagine they’ll return and Pompey will be a little bit bigger,’ she said.
Killer whales Baba, Guido and Pompey near Sealion Island, Falkland Islands. Picture: Sarah May Bonner