Young Whale Dies off Israel’s Shore

20061102_finwhale.jpgBring out the tissues. When we heard the news that a 15 metre fin whale had made it to Ashkelon, in Israel, our hearts filled with joy. We know whales have come to these shores before. Take Jona and the Whale story, for example. Our hearts sunk. The young female calf found swimming off the shores of Israel has died.

After struggling and thrashing for half an hour around the port, near the Israeli town of Ashkelon, reports the Jerusalem Post, the calf finally sank below the water’s surface. Obviously in distress, the Ashkelon police, divers and distraught veterinarians stood helpless along the shore, unable to get the whale to deeper water.

Television footage showed air bubbles on the water’s surface slowly fading away. Newspaper reports say the cause of death unknown. “We tried to show him the way to the opening of the port but he came back in,” said Aviad Sheinin, chairman of the Israeli Marine Mammal Research Center.

“Obviously it’s a very sad situation for us. Fin whales don’t come very often to Israel,” he said.

::Jerusalem Post

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