Search on MTL Blog
Montreal's Whale Is Still Just Chillin' By The Old Port During Its City Vacation (PHOTOS)

A surprise visitor has settled in for an extended vacation. According to a June 3 update from the Groupe de recherche et d'éducation sur les mammifères marins (GREMM), Montreal's whale is still just hanging out by the Cartier Bridge and Old Port. Photos and videos shared by onlookers show the whale frequently jumping out of the water in dramatic displays.

"The humpback whale could remain in the area for several more days before leaving on its own," the GREMM explains in a Facebook post.

"But to do so, it needs to stay safe." The group asks boaters to stay at least 100 metres away.

The good news is that the whale "has no apparent injuries" and "its flesh condition is good, so it has a good body condition."

"It moves at a good speed, seems to breathe normally and has normal, even dynamic behaviour (diving, jumping) for a humpback whale. Its skin is a little damaged by being in fresh water, but nothing alarming at the moment."

The GREMM explains that, "in the short term," the freshwater of the Saint Lawrence doesn't pose a major health risk.

But the reason for its long, unprecedented journey to Montreal is still a mystery.

"It's possible that the whale followed its prey. It's also possible that the whale is disoriented or lost. Given its age," 2-3 years, "navigational errors may be due to its inexperience." 

"It's also possible that it's exploring potential new feeding grounds. The world humpback whale population is currently expanding and some individuals may be seeking new territories."

The whale was first spotted near Quebec City on May 26. At the time, the GREMM said that that was the farthest upriver a whale of that size had ever been seen.

Researchers, wildlife officials, and witnesses followed its slow journey to Montreal, capturing footage of the mammal along the way.

The whale has reportedly drawn crowds to the Old Port. 

The GREMM asks that spectators remember to follow public health guidelines.

Add this to your list of things you never thought would happen in 2020.

Recommended For You