HomeTech2nd minke whale swims off shores of Montreal, hundreds of kilometres from...

2nd minke whale swims off shores of Montreal, hundreds of kilometres from usual habitat

A second minke whale was spotted in the St. Lawrence River in Montreal on Wednesday, according to the Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals (GREMM). 

The whale was reported at 12:30 p.m. near the Maisonneuve district

It could be the same individual as that observed around Trois-Rivières on Monday, and near Varennes on Wednesday morning, the organization says.

A team was dispatched to the scene to try to follow its movements.

The first minke whale is still in the area between the Old Port of Montreal and Île Sainte-Hélène, where it has been for a few days.

GREMM says that whale still looks healthy for now. It measures 3.4 meters and is estimated to be at most two years old. 

Volunteers from a provincial organization, the Réseau québécois d’urgences pour les mammifères marins (RQUMM), have been on site since Wednesday as well, monitoring the situation and collecting data on the marine mammal’s behaviour.

Earlier this week, the director of the GREMM, Robert Michaud, said it is difficult to determine the reasons why a minke whale would venture so far from its usual habitat, some 450 kilometres away.

It may have gotten lost in search of food or simply made a navigational error, he explained.

The minke whale will not be able to stay as long as the humpback whale which spent two weeks near the Old Port in 2020, Michaud said.

Exposure to fresh water for this animal is harmful and can lead to serious physiological problems, and even death, he said.

In 1901, two minke whales ventured into the Old Port of Montreal. For nearly 120 years, there were no other reports in Montreal until a humpback whale spent several days in the same area, before dying, in June 2020.



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