A rare blue whale has been sighted in the Red Sea’s Gulf of Aqaba for the first time, Egypt’s environment ministry has said.
Environment Minister Khaled Fahmy has ordered observation teams to track the whale and try to photograph it, it added in a statement.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists the blue whale, which can grow up to 30 metres (100 feet) in length, as “endangered”. It is the largest animal on earth.
The director of Egypt’s Red Sea Reserves, Ahmed Ghallab, said the blue whale entered the Red Sea from the Indian Ocean through Bab al-Mandab and swam about 2,000km (1,240 miles) to the Gulf of Aqaba, the Egypt Independent news site reports.
The whale may have lost its migration route while trying to reach cold areas in the north, the ministry was quoted as saying.