17-metre-long whale found dead in Israeli beach Photograph:( AFP )
The dead whale, weighing about 25 tonnes, was found on Thursday on the beach in the Nitzanim nature reserve
A probe has begun after a 17-metre-long (55ft) fin whale was found washed up on a beach in southern Israel.
The dead whale, weighing about 25 tonnes, was found on Thursday on the beach in the Nitzanim nature reserve.
Heavy winds and gigantic waves were seen in Israel's entire Mediterranean coastline over Tuesday and Wednesday, bringing tonnes of tar into the beaches.
Initially, it was believed that the whale could have died due to tar pollution
However, Israel's Nature and Parks Authority have brushed aside this theory and said the state of whale showed that it had died about two weeks ago.
"The whale's arrival cannot be linked to the tar pollution," the authority was quoted as saying by news agency AFP.
Earlier, David Halfon, of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority said the body of the whale is "quite rotten", making it "impossible" to find the cause of death with certainty, as reported by news agency Reuters.
Fin Whale is the world's second-biggest mammal species after the Blue Whale.
The environmental protection ministry said it would locate the source of the pollution, adding that the cleanup would be "long and difficult".
Volunteers from a number of NGOs along with the ministry started cleaning up the beaches after emergency funds were released to expedite the manual cleaning.