Humpback whales stranded in crocodile infested river in Kakadu National Park, Australia

In the “very unusual” event, Three animals entered the East Alligator River in Kakadu National Park last week.

In Australia’s Northern Territory (NT), a spokesperson for the park told CNN in a statement on Tuesday that the animals were first seen.

Since then, park staff have been closely monitoring each whale, which appears to be trapped. The spokesman said the other two are believed to have left the area, although the Rangers may not be completely certain.

Although scientists cannot say for sure what happened, they believe the “wrong turn” is the most likely explanation, the spokesman said.

An exclusion zone immediately 20 miles upstream at the mouth of the river was introduced “for the welfare of the whales and the safety of those who would be considering going into the area by boat,” posted on the park on Facebook on Friday

“As far as we know, this is the first time this has happened,” it said.

“We are monitoring the situation and working with NT government officials to gather data on this unusual occurrence, and an expert working group to prepare plans for monitoring and intervening whales if necessary. Has been established.

“The last thing we want is a collision between a boat and a whale in the water where crocodiles are prevalent and the underwater view is void. We also don’t want the boats to inadvertently force the whale up the river.

“The whale is not in crisis at the moment and is not an emergency. The best case scenario for whales is to return to the sea.

“Scientists from Kakadu National Park and NT Government will continue to monitor whales in the coming days. We appreciate that this is a very unusual and exciting event, however, our priority at present is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of visitors and whales . “

Three whales were first seen in the river, but experts believe only one remains.

Most of the water bodies within the park are inhabited by saltwater crocodiles, ambushed predators known to attack and kill humans. Despite their names, they can also find a river more than 100 miles from the coast in freshwater habitat.

According to the park’s guidelines for visitors, crocodiles can remain hidden under water for long periods of time and can move with great stealth and camouflage. They are quick acting and are known to move at speeds up to 40 feet per second.

Earlier on Monday, park staff met with experts to discuss how to help whales if necessary.

Carole Palmer, senior scientist at NT Government, said: “The Northern Territory government is working closely with staff and traditional owners in Kakadu National Park, as well as other experienced experts, to give us the best chance for whales to return. ” sea.”

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Fake Moyle, head of the country and culture section of Kakadu, said in a statement to CNN, “The whale appears safe and well giving us time to ensure that we assess all available options and associated risks. These options range from minimal. As the intervention continues we monitor the whale, actively intervening in an effort to support the animal to get out of the river.

“The highest tide of the year will be in just a few weeks, so there is a window of opportunity to be able to get out of the ocean. We are continuing to consult with experts and our experienced park staff to achieve our plans. And Safe for both the whale and the people involved in the operation.

“We are exploring several options to map the riverbank to find the deepest channel through which the whale can travel to the sea, and we are seeking advice from the staff who are most familiar with this river Huh.”

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According to the International Whaling Commission, humpback whales live in all major oceans of the world. The species is known for its spectacular “surface active behavior”, which may include breeching and flippers and tail slaps, and its intricate “song,” which is heard in breeding grounds in the tropics, the commission says on its website .
According to the park’s website, Australia’s largest national park, Kakadu is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List for its outstanding natural and cultural values.

It is home to several animal species including crocodiles and flatback turtles. It also describes itself as a “living cultural landscape” because its archaeological sites record the skills and way of life of indigenous people over tens of thousands of years.