Published: 2018-06-01 14:18
Last Updated: 2018-06-01 15:52
For the first time ever, a rare blue whale has been spotted in the Red Sea, Egypt’s Environment Ministry said on Thursday.
Ahmed Ghallab, Director of Egypt’s Red Sea Nature Preserve, told local media that "the whale entered the Red Sea from the Indian Ocean via the Bab al-Mandab Strait."
Blue whales are the largest animals on earth, reaching up to 30 meters in length and 180 tonnes in weight.
This whale is about 24 meters long, Live Science reported.
Khaled Fahmy, Egypt’s Environmental Minister, said in a statement that his ministry was “following with great interest the very first appearance of a blue whale in the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea.”
Fahmy added that field-monitoring teams in the Red Sea and South Sinai have been ordered to track the animal and take photographs of it.
Egyptian authorities have asked citizens not to approach the whale, despite it not being considered as dangerous.
The animal is however classed as an “endangered species,” according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Blue whales tend to avoid shallow coastal areas all year round, but migrate towards cooler polar waters in the summer, according to the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF).