Marine Mammal Group Confirms Sighting of Wayward Minke Whale in Montreal Area

By The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
May 9, 2022 Updated: May 9, 2022

The head of a marine mammal research group is confirming that for the second time in two years a whale has been spotted in the Montreal area.

Robert Michaud of the Réseau québécois d’urgences pour les mammifères marins says a young minke whale was first spotted Sunday in the St. Lawrence River near the city’s Parc Jean-Drapeau, some 450 kilometres upstream from its usual habitat.

The sighting comes nearly two years after another whale, a humpback, spent several days in plain view of curious onlookers in Montreal’s Old Port.

That whale was found dead in June 2020, and a necropsy suggested the 10-metre-long animal may have been hit by a boat.

Michaud says it’s not clear why either whale would make such a long journey into a freshwater habitat that’s not healthy for it but says the young animals may have been exploring or simply got lost.

A team has been deployed to observe the minke whale, but Michaud says they can’t do much to help it besides warning boaters to be careful and hoping it turns around and heads back downstream.