Story By: Jana Tomovska, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
Four “confused” killer whales have been spotted in an Italian port for the first time since 1985 where they have remained for three days and have begun to worry conservationists.
The orcas, not seen in the crescent-shaped region of Liguria in north-western Italy since 1985, travelled thousands of miles before arriving at Voltri port where they have lingered for three days, according to local media.
Experts believe the two adults and two calves are the same killer whales spotted off the coast of Cartagena in Spain in November, and that they travelled through the Strait of Gibraltar before reaching Italy.
The local authorities have been monitoring the orcas since their arrival.
Sabina Airoldi, scientific director of the Tethys Research Institute, said: “Hopefully, the orcas will leave soon and return to the Atlantic.”
She said that they appear confused and are circling around the same small area of the port, adding that it “could be an indication that something is wrong”.
Airoldi said: “One of them could be ill, but it is difficult to say. With the wind and waves at the moment, we have not been able to get too close to them to better understand their condition.”
She added that climate change may be one cause of the orcas’ apparently confused state.
Airoldi said: “In general today, cetaceans are threatened by the warming of the seas linked to climate change, and also shipping vessels, plastic and noise.
“I hope with all my heart that they leave soon, it would make for a really lovely Christmas present.”
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