Bathurst After an evaluation of the beluga stuck for more than a week in the Népisiguit River, New Brunswick, experts are preparing for a rescue that has never been attempted. Scientists are currently evaluating the risks in order to repatriate the animal to its natural habitat in Quebec.
The beluga has been surveying the Népisiguit River in Bathurst for at least a week, attracting many curious fascinated by its presence. This young beluga of the St. Lawrence, lost during a period of high tides, is blocked by shallow waters that prevent it from returning towards the ocean.
Video Credit: MARS and Whales Live
Fisheries and Oceans Canada is working with several marine mammal rescue organizations to launch a large-scale operation to return the young cetacean to its natural habitat. The Marine Animal Response Society (MARS) and the Marine Mammal Research and Education Group (GREMM), together with veterinarians from the Vancouver Aquarium and John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, will attempt to capture the Beluga this week.
A Risky Rescue
This rescue measure will be no small task. The cetacean is about two and a half meters long and weighs between 400 and 500 kilos.
If he were released at the mouth of Nepisiguit, he would not be at the end of his troubles.
Young belugas isolated from their herd tend to develop an attraction, sometimes fatal, to small fishing harbors or boats.
Maritime Marine Animal Response Network
For the moment, the young beluga remains dynamic, actively surveying the bathing area where it is located. Yet, veterinarians have seen signs of skin deterioration. Experts also do not know whether it is feeding adequately in this foreign habitat.