Nova Scotia

Minke whale rescued from N.S. river

Rescuers aided a large whale stuck in the shallow waters of a Nova Scotia river on Monday, the second time in as many days.

Whale rescue

News

10 years agoVideo
2:09
Firefighters aide a large minke whale stuck in the shallow waters of a Nova Scotia 's East River 2:09

Rescuers aided a large whale stuck in the shallow waters of a Nova Scotia river on Monday, the second time in as many days.

Members of the New Glasgow, N.S., fire department were called out to the East River Sunday to assist a minke whale that had become stranded.

"We have no idea how it came up the river," said fire Chief Doug Dort. "Probably chasing small fish, I would think."

Dort said members of the department's water rescue team dug a trench around the whale and pulled it backwards to allow it to swim away.

But on Monday morning the whale was back, this time as far as eight kilometres up the river.

The Department of Fisheries responded to help free the whale, estimated to weigh between 350 and 500 kilograms, after it got stuck on a sandbar.

The four-metre whale was freed and on Monday afternoon was being towed to Pictou Harbour, where it will be set free in the Northumberland Strait.

Officials say the minke whale was stuck in a sandbar. (CBC)
Fisheries officer Craig MacDonald said the whale's skin was dry and had some marks on it, but the minke did not have any open wounds.

"He was very calm … and he's got some kick to him," MacDonald said. "We'll keep our fingers crossed that he grows up to have kids of his own and can tell them to stay out of the river and enjoy the open ocean."

Minke whales, which have characteristic white bands on their flippers, are commonly seen in the Maritimes in spring. They are seasonal feeders that eat small fish and have been known to chase schools of sardines, anchovies, cod and herring.

now