In rare sighting: Group of dolphins spotted in Israel's Gulf of Eilat

Aquatic mammals were sighted at 'Princess Beach' by Israel Nature and Parks Authority inspectors; species identified as Red Sea dolphins, one of 16 sea mammals which live in the Red Sea

Noa Fischer|
In an unusual sighting, a pod of dolphins was spotted during a tour conducted by nature inspectors over the weekend in the Gulf of Eilat in southern Israel.
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  • The Israel Nature and Parks Authority's drone spotted five dolphins, amongst them a calf and its mother during a routine inspection.
    Dolphin pod in Eilat Bay
    (Video: Nature and Parks Authority)
    Dafna Feingold, marine biologist and manager of sea mammal viewpoints in the Red Sea, said that there are 16 species of sea mammals in the sea, and 13 of them are toothed whales while some are dolphins.
    "The Red Sea dolphin, recently spotted, is a sub-species of the common dolphin, and it's often hard to differentiate between one from the other without seeing them up close. There are differences in the head shape and color, but the most notable difference is that the mature Red Sea dolphins develop stains on the belly area," she said.
    2 View gallery
    להקת דולפינים מול חוף הנסיכה באילת
    להקת דולפינים מול חוף הנסיכה באילת
    School of dolphins near 'Princess Beach' in Eilat
    (Photo: Chen Topikan, Nature and Parks Authority)
    The marine biologists elaborated that the Red Sea dolphin usually resides in tropical areas of the Indian Ocean and the West Pacific Ocean, and can range from South Africa to the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.
    The Red Sea species is usually spotted near the beach in relatively shallow waters, which appears to be the species' preferred living space. This preference doesn't explain their presence in the Gulf of Eilat, given it's depth even near the shoreline.
    Nonetheless, recently sightings of the Red Sea Dolphin have been reported all along the Red Sea, Gulf of Eilat, Suez, and even in the Suez canal itself.
    2 View gallery
    דולפינים באילת
    דולפינים באילת
    Dolphin with stains on the belly area
    (Photo: Noy Cohen)
    The average size of a dolphin pod belonging to the Red Sea species ranges from anywhere between two to 50 dolphins, although there have been reports of schools with up to 300 dolphins.
    Red Sea Dolphin calves are detected all year round, revealing they have a surplus of food, and are generally healthy in the area.
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