Authorities announced today that a humpback whale has made its way to safety after being stranded in a crocodile-infested river in Australia for two weeks.
Three humpback whales entered the East Alligator River in Australia’s Kakadu National Park two weeks ago. Two of the whales withdrew from the area, while one remained stuck in the river.
The East Alligator River is home to a significant number of saltwater crocodiles. Saltwater crocodiles can grow to be over 20 feet long.
In a statement made today, Feach Moyle, manager of the park’s Country and Culture Section, says, “After monitoring the whale this weekend, we’re delighted to see it has made its way out of Kakadu’s East Alligator River and into Van Diemen Gulf.”
Moyle goes onto add that “The whale made its way out on the high tides of this weekend, and we’re pleased it appeared to be in good condition and not suffering any ill effects.”
Moyle would also like to thank authorities on the state, local, and indigenous levels for helping during “this very unusual situation.”
Dr. Carol Palmer, a senior scientist for the state government, says that the whale’s escape was “great news.”
“It’s been fantastic working with staff at Kakadu as well as expert scientists to identify ways to assist the whale, but I’m very happy it has found its own way. This is the very best outcome we could have hoped for.”
The national park claims that the whale became stranded while trying to migrate.
“As far as we’re aware, this is the first time this has happened,” it said in a statement.
Dangers for the Whale
Besides large, hungry crocodiles, officials were also concerned about boats hitting the whale, or accidentally pushing it further upstream. However, officials said the whale seems to be doing well and is not under any apparent distress.
Between April and November annually, Australia’s eastern coastline sees a plethora of migrating humpback whales. The large animals spend their summers feeding in Antarctica waters. They then migrate to subtropical waters to mate and give birth.