A beluga whale is rescued after getting stuck in the Nepisiguit River in Bathurst, N.B., on Thursday, June 15, 2017, in this handout photo. An endangered beluga whale has landed in Riviere-du-Loup, Que., and is now being transported to a nearby port on the St. Lawrence River to join a pod in its natural habitat.Rescuers managed to guide the whale into a net earlier today to remove it from a northern New Brunswick river to be transported by airplane to Quebec. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Fisheries and Oceans Canada, GREMM ou Whale Stewardship Project

Rescued beluga looks to rejoin pod: group

BATHURST, N.B. — A young beluga whale that was rescued from a New Brunswick river looks closer to being reunited with a pod, a marine mammal group says.

The Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals says the wayward whale was tracked swimming in waters often frequented by belugas on Friday night, but it remains unclear whether the young male has joined the pod.

“The team is very encouraged by these early news,” scientific director Robert Michaud said in a statement Saturday. “However, we remain cautious about the long-term prognosis. “

The whale was rescued in a complex operation Thursday that saw the endangered marine mammal travel by land, sea and air before being returning to the sea.

The beluga, which waded into New Brunswick’s Nepisiguit River weeks ago, was coaxed into a net using an acoustic deterrent device and loaded into the back of a truck, where he was then transported to a Bathurst, N.B., airport.

The animals was flown to Quebec in a small airplane, and after another car trip, was transferred to a boat to be set free close to a group of whales in the St. Lawrence Estuary near Cacouna, Que.

Scientists are observing the whale’s movements with a tracking device as it continues to swim upstream, said Michaud, but pinning down its exact location has proved to be a difficult task.

He said the whale’s tag is programmed to send a signal when the whale breaches the surface up 250 times a day, but in the first day of tracking, most transmissions were sent within a few hours.

“It is possible that the beluga, recovering from its adventure, spends a lot of time at rest, near the surface,” said Michaud. ”The tag then could transmit all its signals within a few hours.”

If the cycle continues, Michaud said scientists should receive more information about the whale late Saturday evening.

Michaud said members of the group are conducting sea patrols over the next few days in an effort to spot the whale.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Women’s marches underway in Canadian cities, a year after Trump inauguration

Women are gathering in dozens of communities across the country today to… Continue reading

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by government

Olds chicken barn burns to the ground, no livestock harmed

More than 100,000 chickens were saved as fire crews prevent the blaze from spreading

Bear video meant to promote conservation: zoo owner

Discovery Wildlife Park says it will look at other ways to promote its conservation message

Red Deer’s Soundhouse closing its doors on Record Store Day

The owners of The Soundhouse want to shut down their store on… Continue reading

WATCH: Property taxes in Red Deer will go up 2.02 per cent in 2018

City council passes a “tough” budget that maintains most service levels

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month