The humpback whale with an estimated length of 16 meters was probably on its annual migration route. Every year, humpback whales migrate from the cold arctic to the equator in the spring to mate in the warmer water. This whale was probably on its way back to Antarctica.
It is unique that a humpback whale moves inland. “It’s something we’ve never seen before, not just in the North, but all over Australia. It’s really, really unusual,” marine ecologist Carole Palmer told me. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). According to her, it is unclear why these whales took the wrong turn off the north coast.
To clear the route to the ocean, it is currently prohibited to sail on the river. The biologists hope that the whale will find its way back to the ocean, but for now the humpback whale is swimming in the deep part of the river.
Although saltwater crocodiles also swim in the river, biologists do not expect a confrontation between them and the humpback whale. Except when the humpback whale ends up in shallow water and possibly washed up on a bank. Then the animal is an “easy prey” for the crocodiles.