Fin whale washes up dead on southern Israel beach

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NITZANIM, Israel (Reuters) - Israeli officials are investigating the cause of death of a fin whale that was found washed up on a beach in southern Israel.

The 17-metre-long (55ft) whale was found on Thursday on the beach in the Nitzanim nature reserve, south of Tel Aviv on the Mediterranean coast.

The whale’s body is “quite rotten, so it’s impossible to say for certain the cause of death ... samples will be taken for research,” said David Halfon, of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

With rainy weather giving way to periodic sunshine on Friday afternoon, some Israelis walked down to the nature reserve’s coastline to see the whale up close and take photos with it.

Additional reporting by Rami Ayyub; Editing by Alex Richardson