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Tourists return to Sri Lanka for whale watching

David Loh / Reuters

A snorkeler swims towards sperm whales diving into the sea off the coast of Mirissa, Sri Lanka, March 29.

The southern tip of Sri Lanka, where the waters of the continental shelf are close to shore, is one of the few locations in the world to see dolphins, sperm whales and other creatures of the deep up close. Tourists have been returning to the island since the civil war ended there in 2009 to enjoy its natural beauty and catch a rare glimpse of the elusive whales.

David Loh / Reuters

Tourist boats, carrying whale watchers, surround a pod of resting sperm whales in the Indian ocean off the coast of southern Sri Lanka.

David Loh / Reuters

The fluke of a sperm whale sticks out of the sea as it dives among other resting whales off the coast of Mirissa, Sri Lanka.