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Dead sperm whale washes up on Tel Aviv beach

Scientists say difficult to determine cause of death of young marine mammal as the carcass was badly decomposed

A young sperm whale that washed up on a Tel Aviv beach on May 20, 2022 (Screenshot/Twitter)
A young sperm whale that washed up on a Tel Aviv beach on May 20, 2022 (Screenshot/Twitter)

A dead sperm whale washed up on a Tel Aviv beach on Friday and officials were conducting tests to try and determine the cause of death.

This was the third dead whale to wash up on Israel’s Mediterranean shore this year.

The carcass was first spotted Thursday night off the beach in nearby Herzliya and it came ashore in Tel Aviv on Friday.

Dr. Aviad Scheinin, the head of the marine biology department at Haifa University, told the Maariv news site that it was a young sperm whale and that its advanced state of decomposing made it difficult to immediately determine the cause of death.

Scheinin noted that sperm whales are endangered in the Mediterranean Sea.

In February 2001, a 17-meter (55-foot) fin whale that washed up on the shore of the Nitzanim reserve in southern Israel was one of the first indications that a massive oil spill had occurred off the Israeli coast.

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