Narwhal found, first for Belgium


Narwhal found in Belgium, photo by Bornem local authority

Translated from NOS TV in the Belgium:

Unique find: Arctic narwhal washed ashore in Belgium

Today, 12:59

Two Belgian hikers have made a unique discovery at a lock in the Scheldt: a narwhal. Never before an individual of this arctic marine mammal species had been found in Belgium.

Normally, this toothed whale with its distinctive tusk lives only in the polar seas around Canada and Greenland. There is only one known case in the Netherlands, in 1912.

Belgian experts say that this specimen also has a Dutch side, as he must have swum through Dutch waters to Belgium.

Puzzle

The animal, a young male 2 meters long and 290 kilos, had, given the state of decomposition, probably been dead for two or three weeks. The skeleton will be included in the collection of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.

An expert of the museum believes that the persistent north wind may have blown the animal, also called sea unicorn, off course. “The day before yesterday there was already a bottlenose dolphin washed ashore in Ostend. That had not happened since 1990.”

How the animal progressed so far on the Scheldt river (even beyond Antwerp) is still a mystery. The experts call it unlikely that the animal drifted upstream while dead, but there were no reported sightings of a living narwhal in the busy shipping area.

3 thoughts on “Narwhal found, first for Belgium

  1. Pingback: Beached narwhal investigated in Belgium | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Narwhal echolocation, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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