A humpback whale stranded in a crocodile-infested river in Kakadu National Park, Australia

In an “extremely unusual” event, Three of the animals entered the eastern Alligator River Kakadu National Park last week.

A spokeswoman for the park in Northern Territory, Australia, told CNN in a statement that the animals were spotted for the first time on Tuesday.

Since then, the park crew has been closely watching one whale that appears to be stuck. The spokeswoman said he believed the other two had left the area, although the guards could not be sure.

The spokeswoman said that while scientists cannot say for sure what has happened, they believe a “wrong turn” is the most likely explanation.

An exclusion zone was immediately introduced at the mouth of the river to a point just under 20 miles upstream “for the welfare of the whale and the safety of people who might consider going to the area by boat,” the park published in The social networking site Facebook on Friday.

“As far as we know, this is the first time this has happened,” she said.

“We are monitoring the situation and are working with government authorities in the Northern Territory to collect data on this unusual event. A working group of experts has been formed to monitor the whale and prepare plans to intervene if necessary.

“The last thing we want is a collision between a boat and a whale in the water where the crocodiles are infested and the underwater vision is zero. We also don’t want the boats to inadvertently push the whale up the river.”

“The whale is not in trouble at the moment and it is not an emergency. The best case scenario is for the whale to make its way to the sea.

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“Kakadu National Park and NT Government scientists will continue to monitor the whale in the coming days. We appreciate that this is a very unusual and exciting event, however, our priority at the moment is to ensure the safety and well-being of visitors and whale.”

Most of the water bodies within the park are inhabited by saltwater crocodiles, which are ambush predators known to attack and kill humans. Despite its name, it can also be found more than 100 miles from the river from the coast in freshwater habitats.

According to the park’s guidelines for visitors, crocodiles can stay hidden underwater for long periods and can move with a ghost and great camouflage. It is fast acting and has been known to move at speeds of up to 40 feet per second.

Earlier on Monday, park staff met with experts to discuss how best to help the whale if needed.

“The NT government is working closely with the traditional staff and owners of Kakadu National Park, as well as other experts with much experience, to ensure that the whale is given the best chance to return to the sea,” said Carol Palmer, Chief Scientist for the Northern Territory government.

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“The whale still appears safe and healthy, which gives us time to ensure that all available options and the associated risks are evaluated. These options range from the minimum to intervene while we continue to monitor the whale,” Fitch Moel, Head of State and Culture in Kakadu, said in a statement to CNN. , To actively intervene to try to support the animal to get out of the river.

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“The loudest wave of the year will happen in a few weeks, so there’s a good chance it has to head out to sea. We are continuing to consult with experts and our experienced Park staff to ensure our plans are fulfilled. It is safe for both the whale and those involved in the operation.”

“We are also looking at a range of options to map the course of the river to find the deepest channel that the whale can travel to the sea, and are seeking advice from the staff most knowledgeable about that river.”

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Humpback whales live in all of the world’s major oceans, according to The International Whaling Commission. The commission says on its website that the species is known for its amazing “surface active behavior”, which can include piercing, flippers and tail slapping, and its complex “song” heard in tropical breeding grounds.
The largest national park in Australia, Kakadu is on the double list UNESCO World Heritage List For its distinguished natural and cultural values ​​according to the park website.

It is home to many species of animals, including crocodiles and flat-back turtles. It also describes itself as a “living cultural landscape” as its archaeological sites record the skills and way of life of indigenous people over tens of thousands of years.

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