An unexpected visitor is giving Bathurst residents a chance to go whale watching close up.

What appears to be a beluga whale has somehow made its way up the Nepisiguit River.

Kelley Chiasson has visited the lost animal a few times since it first showed up last week. She said it's the first time she's seen anything like this in the river.

"It's a really popular fishing hole and a lot of people go swimming there but never did any whales come up that way before," said Chiasson.

Furthermore, the whale doesn't seem to be in too much of a hurry, as it hasn't moved since it got there.

"I don't know if he's stuck there, or he just likes that spot," said Chiasson.

Chiasson thinks she knows how the whale could have made it up a relatively shallow fresh water river.

"We had really high tides with the full moon last week. I think he probably came up with the tides," said Chiasson.

Chiasson says she's heard that wildlife wardens are aware of the situation and are looking to see if the whale is healthy enough to move.

The whale has become a bit of a hit over the past few days, with many people making the trip out to see it. But having to wade out through waist-high water keeps the sight somewhat obscure.

"If you don't know where it is, you're not going to see it," said Chiasson.