A killer whale was spotted off the coast of Israel on Friday, in an appearance so rare it is not known when was last time that it happened.
The Nature and Parks Authority said in a statement it was alerted to the maritime visitor by a fisherman.
A Parks Authority boat was dispatched to the area and caught up with the whale between Haifa and Akhziv.
Officials found the whale swimming about 1.4 kilometers from the shore and were able, for the first time ever, to video an orca swimming off Israel’s coast.
לויתן קטלן ('אורקה') נצפה משכשך להנאתו מול חופי עכו נהרייה
קרדיט: מנור גורי רשט"ג pic.twitter.com/j0f1lU7E8E
— נוּר בִּינוּר ???????????????? (@nur_binur) February 28, 2020
“We drew close to it, to a distance of dozens of meters,” the statement said. “We filmed him for continued research to identify the whale.”
The whale is likely the same one spotted earlier in the week off the coast of Lebanon.
The whale is believed to be “Riptide” who belongs to a pod that began its journey in Icelandic waters in June 2018. He was identified by the unique markings on his head according to Marie-Thérèse Mrusczok, head of Orca Guardians, an Icelandic group.
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the longest known distance traveled of any killer whale to date, with over 8,000 km, just incredible!” Orca Guardians said in a statement last week.
IDENTIFICATION OF SN113 IN LEBANON CONFIRMEDWe hereby confirm the identification of the male orca sighted on 19th and…
However, there are concerns for the whale’s health as he looked emaciated, indicating he may not be able to feed properly in the Mediterranean.