The lengthy trip marks one of the largest migration routes ever recorded, researchers say


A pod of orca whales made history this month after completing a migration from Iceland to Genoa, Italy, researchers discovered.

The nonprofit, Orca Guardians Iceland, has been tracking the pod since January 2014 and was able to confirm the whales had traveled from Iceland to Italy by comparing photos sent to them by the University of Genoa with their own sets of photos, according to WTOP.

After seeing photos that Italian researchers posted online, Orca Guardians Iceland reached out for more information on the sighting.

The Italian researchers shared that the killer whales arrived in Italy around Dec. 1, marking the first killer whale sighting in Italy since 1985.

Pod of Transient Killer Whales
Credit: Francois Gohier/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty

According to the nonprofit, the whales’ lengthy trip marks one of the largest migration routes ever recorded and was the first-ever record of the animals moving from Iceland to Italy.

The organization dubbed the successful migration as “the most exciting news ever.”

The pod was made up of four whales, including a female whale who swam while carrying her dead calf by its fin, an Italian marine expert told The Times U.K.

The whales were last seen headed west toward Savona, Italy.