Home / World / The humpback whale is free after swimming out of the crocodile infested river in Australia

The humpback whale is free after swimming out of the crocodile infested river in Australia

It all started when three humpback whales entered the East Alligator River in Kakadu National Park. They were spotted last Tuesday, a week after entering the river, said a spokesperson for the park, located in Australia’s Northern Territory.

The other two whales were thought to have left the area, but one whale appeared to have got stuck in the river, home to a large number of saltwater crocodiles.

“After tracking the whale this weekend, we are delighted to see it exited Kakadu’s East Alligator River and into the Gulf of Van Diemen,” said Feach Moyle, the park’s country and culture manager, in a statement Monday .

“The whale made its way at high tide this weekend and we are delighted that it appeared in good condition and suffered no ill effects,”

; Moyle added, thanking state, local and indigenous authorities for their cooperation. “. this very unusual situation.”

Dr. Carol Palmer, senior state government scientist, called the whale escape “great news.”

“It has been great to work with Kakadu staff and experienced scientists to identify ways to assist the whale, but I am very happy it has found its way,” Palmer said in the park statement. “This is the best result we could have hoped for.”

An exclusion zone was established in Kakadu National Park after three humpback whales entered the East Alligator River in Australia's Northern Territory.

The whale had apparently run aground after being confused during the migration, the national park said. “As far as we know, this is the first time this has happened,” he said in a statement last week.

The park said it was concerned about a number of dangers: in addition to the crocodiles, there was also the possibility that a boat collided with the whale or inadvertently pushed it further upstream.

However, the park added last week, the whale didn’t appear to be in danger.

Saltwater crocodiles are ambush predators known to attack and kill humans. Despite their name, they can also be found more than 100 miles (161 kilometers) along the river from the coast in freshwater habitats.

A humpback whale is stuck in a crocodile-infested river after taking a wrong turn

According to the park’s guidelines for visitors, crocodiles can remain hidden underwater for long periods and can move around with great stealth and camouflage. They act quickly and are known to move at speeds of up to 40 feet (12.1 meters) per second when they catch prey over short distances.

Every year, between April and November, the east coast of Australia is full of migrating humpback whales; the animals spend their summers feeding in the Antarctic waters, before migrating to the subtropical waters to mate and give birth. Most humpback whales near Australia migrate back to the southern ocean from September to November, according to the Australian environment ministry.
Australia’s largest national park, Kakadu is doubly listed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List for its outstanding natural and cultural values, according to the website of the park.

CNN’s Lianne Kolirin contributed to this report.

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