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Environment

Dead sperm whale washes up in Israel; second dead whale in year

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - A dead sperm whale washed up on the Tel Aviv shore on Friday, its decomposing, 30-foot (10 metre)-long carcass startling some beachgoers while others flocked for a rare close look at the endangered species.

Delphis, an Israeli marine wildlife NGO, said on Facebook that the whale appeared to be a young female and that its condition would make determining the cause of death difficult.

A smaller sperm whale washed up dead near southern Ashdod in July. Delphis said an autopsy found no evidence of illness and that it might have been separated from its mother and starved for lack of milk.

A 2019 report by the Cetacean Specialist Group, an international network of experts on endangered species, estimated the number of Mediterranean sperm whales to be in the low hundreds. It blamed fishing driftnets for the depopulation.

Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Mark Porter

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