Scientists free whale from Nepisiguit River in northern New Brunswick
A trapped beluga whale that swam into the Nepisiguit River by mistake two weeks ago ago was rescued Thursday and is being flown from Bathurst, N.B., to Quebec.
Scientists who ran the rescue mission said the whale will join an adoptive pod in the St. Lawrence River.
The mammal wouldn't have got out of the river on its own, experts said.
They hope the rescue will improve the whale's chance of survival after its stay in the northern New Brunswick river.
The rescue mission got underway early Thursday morning. Scientists with GREMM, a marine mammal research group based in Quebec, used a hoop net, a stretcher and an inflatable mattress to capture the whale.
After coaxing the mammal into the net shortly after noon, the group carried it from the water and lifted it into the back o a truck for transportation to the airport.
Researchers hope to take the whale to the Cacouna region of the St. Lawrence River near Rivière-du-Loup, about 200 kilometres northeast of Quebec City. (CBC)
In an earlier interview with CBC News, Robert Michaud, the scientific director of GREMM, said the researchers hope to take the whale to the Cacouna region of the St. Lawrence River near Rivière-du-Loup, about 200 kilometres northeast of Quebec City.
But with the beluga population declining, he was hopeful the plan would work.
It's still not clear how the beluga whale ended up in the Nepisiguit River in early June.