Two years after the visit – which ended tragically – of a humpback whale in the Old Port of Montreal, a minke whale was seen yesterday at the same place, not far from the Biosphere. Here’s what you need to know about the situation.

It is not known how the marine mammal was able to reach the metropolis, which is 400-500 km from its usual natural habitat, says Robert Michaud, director general of the Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals (GREMM).

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“It happens that animals like whales or rorquals make a series of navigation errors and find themselves far from their natural habitat. Is it because he chased schools of fish? Is he sick? We don’t know,” he explains, adding that, without being frequent, the phenomenon is observed occasionally.

The GREMM assumes, however, that the mammal arrived quite recently in Montreal since there are no particular signs of algae on its back. Moreover, the prolonged presence of the minke whale in fresh water could be problematic for its health, precisely because of these organisms which can stick to its skin and which it is difficult for the animal to get rid of.

Avoid the worst

To prevent the minke whale from meeting the same tragic fate as the humpback whale two years ago, the GREMM intends to issue a notice to shipping to prevent collisions between the mammal and a boat with curious visitors on board. observe it.

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“It’s a smaller animal [que la baleine à bosse]more difficult to detect, but also easier to avoid”, underlines Mr. Michaud.

Worried about the animal, the GREMM sent volunteers from the Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Network in Tadoussac to watch over the minke whale. However, no intervention is planned to push back or extract the animal from the environment.

The GREMM website will publish daily updates of the situation.

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