WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- For the first time ever, a pod of killer whales was discovered by researchers and a nonprofit group, to have made the longest migration trip, traveling from Iceland to Italy.
- Although Orca Guardians Iceland had been studying the pod since 2014 in West Iceland, they have not seen the pod again until Italy when they saw the whales’ photos shared online.
- They managed to confirm that the pod is the same as the one they’ve been studying based on photos of the whales’ fin and eye patches.
For the first time in history, a pod of four Orca whales had taken the biggest migration routes ever recorded from Iceland to Genoa, Italy, according to researchers tracking the pod.
Dubbing the event as the ‘most exciting news ever’, the nonprofit Orca Guardians Iceland confirmed that the whales have indeed completed the long trip from Iceland to Italy.
The organization had been studying the pod since January 2014. By 2015, there were six more sightings of them in the West Iceland area. All four whales were seen again in June 2016. A calf joined their pod the following summer. Then the pod was not spotted again until Italy.
The Times reported that Orca Guardians contacted Italian researchers at the University of Genoa after recognizing photos of the whales that were posted online.
According to WTOP reports, the nonprofit was able to identify the whales based on their fins and eye patches sent to them by the Italian researchers, which they then compared to the photos in the organization’s own database.
When they asked the Italian researchers for more details about the whales, the researchers shared that the killer whales were first sighted in Italy on December 1st, which is also the first killer whale sighting since 1985.
Biagio Violi, an Italian marine research expert also told The Times U.K. that the pod included a female whale carrying her dead calf by its fin. Apparently, the female whale swam for four to five days while holding the fin of the dead calf in her mouth
He added that the pod was last seen headed west toward Savona, Italy.
Photo Credit: PEOPLE