The humpback whale of Montreal is found dead

The young humpback whale that has aroused a great curiosity in the course of the last week in the Montreal area has been found dead, stranded, in the area of Varennes. For the moment, we don’t know the circumstances of his death.

The carcass of a cetacean that has been reported by a St. Lawrence pilot, announced Tuesday morning the Network quebec marine mammal emergency response (RQUMM).

A necropsy of the animal would be in preparation, but the specialists should first assess how they will be able to access the animal, and then move it. Such an operation is complex for such a cetacean, which measures ten meters in length.

“The teams of the quebec Network of marine mammal emergency response, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Faculty of veterinary medicine of the University of Montreal are all mobilized. The permissions have been issued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada to perform a necropsy, ” said the RQUMM.

A necropsy could help to know the causes of death of this whale, which was still in good physical shape Saturday night, after spending a week in the area of the Old Port and île Sainte-Hélène.

La baleine à bosse de Montréal est retrouvée morte

Photo: Alexander Shields The Duty
The animal multiplies the behaviours typical of their species, including showing off his caudal fin.

Saturday, the whale was observed throughout the day near the Jacques-Cartier bridge, between the island of Sainte-Hélène and île Notre-Dame. It was in this sector since Thursday, after having spent not less than five days at the entrance to the Old Port, where it attracted every evening hundreds of people come to observe, in particular its dozens of spectacular jumps out of the water.

Its last report dates back to Sunday, in the late afternoon, at the eastern tip of the island of Montreal. The scientists hoped, therefore, that it is distributed to the downstream of the river. She would then have to drive the 400 kilometers that separate it from its natural environment.

This whale who is aged two to three years, however, was exposed to a number of risks to its survival. It might had been hit by one of the many commercial ships that sail on the St. Lawrence river. The cetacean could also be made in a sector of the shallow and fail living.

Every year, many cetaceans are found dead in the estuary and gulf of St. Lawrence, the victims mainly from collisions with ships and entanglements in fishing gear. A fin whale was found dead there a few days on Anticosti island.

La baleine à bosse de Montréal est retrouvée morte

Photo: Alexander Shields The Duty
The first day of his arrival in Montreal, the humpback whale had multiplied the jumps out of the water.

Some cases are more publicized, since the animals in question were individuals known to scientists. This is the case of Captain Hook, a fin whale well-known in the marine park of Saguenay—Saint-Laurent and who died in 2013 following an entanglement in fishing gear in the snow crab. Same thing for Trypho, a sperm whale was found dead severely entangled in fishing gear.

Since 2017, several right whales were also found dead in the gulf of St. Lawrence, struck by vessels or entangled in fishing gear. These whales were all well-known scientists.

When they are not killed, the whales can be severely injured. Several of them also address scars, according to the work carried out by the research Station of the Mingan islands.

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