Thursday 23 March 2017

Whale surprises locals, swims into luxury Buenos Aires marina

Sarah-Jane Murphy

Residents of a coastal neighbourhood in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires welcomed a surprise guest when a whale accidentally swam into a city marina.

The huge whale was seen surfacing amongst the luxury yachts in Puerto Madero, and after the word spreading quickly on social media sites, hundreds were lining up for a glimpse.

A local police boat tried to lure the whale to the Rio de la Plata river, which connects the marina to the Atlantic.

Experts have suggested the animal was most likely a cub separated from its herd.

A stranded humpback whale surfaces at the docks of Puerto Madero neighbourhood as people watch in Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 3, 2015. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci
A stranded humpback whale surfaces at the docks of Puerto Madero neighbourhood as people watch in Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 3, 2015. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

"I've never seen one in Puerto Madero," one resident said.

"It's really sad,'' a local bank worker told the Associated Press. "This is not its natural habitat. The poor whale is clearly lost."

A stranded humpback whale surfaces at the docks of Puerto Madero neighbourhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 3, 2015. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci
A stranded humpback whale surfaces at the docks of Puerto Madero neighbourhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 3, 2015. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci
A stranded humpback whale surfaces at the docks of Puerto Madero neighbourhood as people watch in Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 3, 2015. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci
A stranded humpback whale surfaces at the docks of Puerto Madero neighbourhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 3, 2015. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

A specialist looking at the numerous images on social media identified it as a minke whale, warning that freshwater would damage its health.

But Mariano Sironi, scientific director of the Whale Conservation Institute in Argentina, told AP he thought it was more likely to be a humpback whale.

People watch a lost whale in Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, Aug. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
People watch a lost whale in Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, Aug. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

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