This Band of Beluga Whales Has a Special ‘Adopted’ Buddy, Can You Spot It?

By Li Yen, Epoch Times
January 7, 2019 Updated: January 14, 2019

Apparently, when a pod of wild beluga whales ran into a lost male narwhal—a kind of toothed whale—in the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada, they befriended him and took him in as one of their own.

In drone footage taken by the Group for Education and Research on Marine Mammals (GREMM) in July 2018, the lone dark-gray narwhal is seen swimming alongside a group of around 10–11 juvenile pure-white beluga whales—believed to be mostly males, CBC News reported.

Ce narval a été accepté par des bélugas du Canada

Ce narval perdu a été adopté par un groupe de bélugas. (via Brut nature FR)

Brut 发布于 2018年9月24日周一

That was an unusual sight, as narwhals, also referred to as “Unicorns of the Sea,” due to their legendary tusk, are an arctic-dwelling whale.

Though it was supposed to live in the Arctic some 1,000 kilometers away, the young porpoise with a half-meter-long tusk has been spotted among the beluga whales, around the St. Lawrence River, for the past three years.

I remember this moment like it was yesterday. These unicorns of the Arctic rose from the sea, pointing their ivory tusks…

Paul Nicklen Photography 发布于 2018年8月16日周四

Robert Michaud, GREMM’s president and scientific director, observed that the narwhal constantly rubbed against his beluga friends and even behaved “like it was one of the boys.”

Like the beluga whales, the narwhal kept blowing bubbles every now and then.

The narwhal might have seen himself as one of the belugas, probably because these two highly sociable species of whales come from the same cetacean family—the monodontidae.

Un narval, visiteur exceptionnel, au coeur d'un groupe de bélugas © GREMM

Groupe de recherche et d'éducation sur les mammifères marins – GREMM 发布于 2016年8月11日周四

However, despite belonging to the same Monodontidae family, it’s still rare for the beluga whales to come into close contact with the narwhals in the northern waters, according to University of Washington researcher Kristin Laidre.

“Narwhals and belugas, though closely related, are pretty different,” Laidre told CBC News.

Un narval, visiteur exceptionnel, au coeur d'un groupe de bélugas © GREMM

Groupe de recherche et d'éducation sur les mammifères marins – GREMM 发布于 2016年8月11日周四

If this story could teach us anything, it would be “the compassion and the openness of other species to welcome another member that may not look or act the same,” said Martin Nweeia, a researcher at Harvard University.

This lost narwhal is sure lucky to find some companions 1,000 kilometers away from home!

Hopefully, the stray narwhal and his beluga friends—both threatened species—will continue to thrive in the wild, frolicking in the waters together.

Watch the video:

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