The humpback whale is still swimming around Old Montreal (PHOTOS)

Jun 3 2020, 9:53 am

As Montreal starts settling into the new normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems that a marine mammal also wants to settle into a new type of normal.

Old Montreal’s humpback whale is still swimming and jumping around the Jacques Cartier Bridge, three days after the majestic mammal made its first appearance in the Saint-Lawrence River.

According to the Groupe de recherche et d’éducation sur les mammifères marins (GREMM), it’s the closest a whale has ever gotten to the city of Montreal, let alone for three days.

The GREMM says the whale could stay in the area for “several days” before leaving on its own. The marine mammal research organization says the best course of action to help the humpback return to its natural habit is to let it “make the decision by itself.”

GREMM says the whale appears to be “swimming freely” and seems to be in good physical condition. The group says humpback whales are typically located in the Gulf of St-Lawrence and it could soon return there where there is no “physical obstacle” to get back.

The organization also recommends to observe the whale from the shore but if you “absolutely need to go onto the water,” stay a minimum of 100 metres away from the whale for both the whale’s and your own safety.

(Plus you know, physical distancing.)

The SPVM’s nautical squad says it will be continuing its collaboration with Fisheries and Oceans Canada officers to ensure that shipping and recreational boating traffic is able to coexist with the whale.

Experts from GREMM have studied the initial whale images and estimates the humpback to be two to three years old.

“The animal appears to be physically fit. Its dynamism is remarkable, despite having made a marathon journey against the current,” says GREMM. “Its skin does shows some damage, but nothing severe.”

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the MontWHALEal, here’s how the beautiful mammal looks in the virtual world.

 

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