Sperm whales return to Mediterranean

February 14, 2007

Marine biologists in Italy say the sperm whale, once thought to have been nearly wiped from the region by drift nets, has returned to the Mediterranean.

Ansa said it appears the whales are returning in "remarkable numbers" since they were first spotted two years ago when NEMO -- the Neutrino Mediterranean Observatory -- started picking up strange sounds off Catania, Sicily.

The sounds turned out to be the "clicks" of sperm whales talking to each other.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare said two years ago that large herds of sperm whales had become unheard of in the Mediterranean, Ansa said.

Scientists say there may be hundreds of sperm whales off Sicily now.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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