Rare bottlenose whale still hanging around Eastern Shore
Just 160 of the mammals left on the Scotian Shelf
The Marine Animal Response Society was back on Nova Scotia's Eastern Shore Saturday looking to help a rare northern bottlenose whale.
The society is helping the Department of Fisheries and Oceans figure out what to do about the whale that's been spent more than four days swimming in shallow water off Spry Bay, N.S.
The northern bottlenose whale is an endangered species with about 160 individuals left. It usually stays in deep ocean waters — at least 800 metres deep.
Dr. Hal Whitehead, a marine biologist with Dalhousie University, said seeing one of the whales this close to shore is often a sign of trouble. He also said the whale appears to be underweight.
Tonya Wimmer, MARS president and bottlenose whale researcher, said so far the whale doesn’t appear to be coming too close to shore.
“It’s swimming around in this very tiny open ocean inlet. Actually, it’s sort of confusing because it’s not like it’s stuck, it’s not like it doesn’t have room to move around or room to even go back out to deeper water. We’re just sitting here watching it, it’s just surfacing a bit and then it goes back down,” she said
Wimmer said they're also hoping to confirm that this is the same whale that was spotted in Prospect Bay, closer to Halifax, earlier this week.
“It’s one of those ones, it’s a hard one to know what to do with because it’s swimming around. It does look a bit thin but while it’s swimming it’s actually very difficult to do anything with them because they’re so big you can’t just go out and pick them up,” she said.