A SUSPECTED killer whale was spotted lurking in the shallow waters of a popular British beach.
The 20ft beast, potentially an orca, kept partially submerged just yards from swimmers at Criccieth Bay, north west Wales.
Photographer David Silcock snapped a picture of the suspected marine mammal while out for a walk on July 22.
Sharing the photo on Facebook, he said: "Is this an orca in the bay off Criccieth Beach?"
Locals speculated whether it was indeed an orca, also known as a killer whale, or another creature like a dolphin or seal.
Experts have since claimed it was more likely a bottlenose, common or Risso's dolphin.
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David told NorthWalesLive: "I saw it in the bay from the viewing point where the cars stop off the main road on the hill behind Dylan's restaurant looking towards the castle.
"It was definitely bigger than a dolphin but I was that busy trying to judge when and where it would surface and so I didn't take as good a look as I could.
"I drove down from the viewing point and took the photo from the beach in front of Dylan's.
"It just moved diving and resurfacing from Black Rock and went past the castle.
"I've previously seen dolphins and last year I saw what I thought were three or four dolphins and these were later confirmed as bottlenose whales."
Marine ecologist Ceri Webster, from Imperial College London, told The Sun: "I would say that it's most likely a common dolphin.
"The angle of the picture probably just makes its fin look a bit longer and thinner."
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A spokesperson for Sea Watch Foundation said: "Based on the image we believe it is either a bottlenose dolphin or Risso's dolphin."
Killer whales are found in all oceans and most seas. While they prefer colder waters like Antarctica, Norway, and Alaska, they are also found in tropical and subtropical waters such as Florida, Hawaii, Australia, and the Bahamas.
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