A pod of 17 dolphins, including two calves, joined a naval vessel from the Nature and Parks Authority on a patrol off the coast of Ashkelon in Southern Israel.The dolphins, who were playing in the waves, started swimming around the boat, Channel 12 reported on Tuesday. Guy Levian, an inspector from the Authority, said that the pod is well-known and is often spotted west of a security reserve between Ashdod and Ashkelon. Levian added that they belong to an endangered species, the common bottlenose dolphin."Israel's beaches have been designated as an important habitat for the common bottlenose dolphin by the International Union for Conservation of Nature," he further said, according to Channel 12. The local dolphin population is about 30/40 dolphins, he said.