A rare male dolphin has been spotted in an Israeli bay and experts are hoping it sparks up a romance with a female seen in the area since 2019.
The Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) was seen near Eilat, Israel’s only port on the Red Sea located in the Gulf of Aqaba.
Dolphins are common in the area, however Indo-Pacific bottlenoses are considered rare in Eilat, and Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) expert Omri Amosi believes the newcomer is a male and between 2 and 2.5 metres (6.6 and 8.2 feet) long with a missing side fin.
On Saturday (Feb 27) the hope that the two might hook up appeared to come true after the male was apparently seen interacting with a female Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin, and INPA experts hope the pair sparks up a romance.
The female, known as ‘Rona’, was first spotted off the coast of Eilat two years ago and is considered very friendly to humans.
In hope of the two rare dolphins becoming a couple, the INPA has advised residents to keep their distance from the recently-arrived male and to let him enjoy the bay unhindered.
Indo-Pacific bottlenoses typically inhabit waters around India, northern Australia, South China, the eastern coast of Africa, and parts of the Red Sea.
The Israeli bay is already home to four other dolphins that regularly approach the pier and are watched by locals.