Humpback Whale Makes It To Open Water After Getting Stuck In Crocodile Infested River
A humpback whale has been safely guided back to open water after being found in a crocodile-infested river in the Northern Territory.
Animal experts were shocked to find the massive whale cruising down the river in the Kakadu National Park more than two weeks ago.
It managed to get 20 kilometres away from the ocean and was sparking concern it could wind up as a croc's next meal.
But thankfully, whale watchers spotted it off the coast of the Van Diemen Gulf on the weekend.
Northern Territory Government scientist Carol Palmer told the ABC: "We are really happy, because it was getting to the point where tides were causing us to be more than a bit concerned.
"We were working out a plan B and a plan C to get the whale out of the river before the sighting."
It was the first time in recorded history that a humpback whale had been sighted that deep inside the Kakadu National Park.
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Experts in the NT called on their counterparts across Australia for advice on how to get it to turn around. There were concerns that direct intervention could have caused the whale to become stranded on the shallow banks.
Experts debated even using killer whale calls to try and lure it back to the open sea.
Dr Palmer said: "The whale was covered in mud, although it looked fine. We had found it seven kilometres downstream from where we had earlier recorded it and it was in pretty shallow water, only three metres deep
"It is a very strange place for a whale, unless it thought it was a crocodile. We do hope this whale catches up with its friends and heads back down to Antarctica."
It's not yet clear what caused the whale to end up in the shallow and narrow river but a pod of sharks could be to blame.
At this stage, experts are just happy to see it out of immediate danger.
Kakadu National Park manager and zoologist Feach Moyle." said: "It made its way out on the high tides and we're pleased it appeared to be in good condition and not suffering any ill effects."
Featured Image Credit: Parks Australia
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