Young beluga struggling after relocation, marine mammal group says

SAINT FABIEN, Que. — A marine mammal group says it is unclear whether a young whale flown from a New Brunswick river to Quebec is able to eat or has joined other belugas.

The Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals says the next few days will be critical for the beluga, released in Cacouna, Que., in the St. Lawrence Estuary last Thursday.

The group says satellite tracking places the whale off Saint-Fabien, about 65 kilometres downstream from Cacouna.

Signals received Monday night suggest the beluga spends a lot of time near the surface and that he may not be strong enough to swim against the current or even to stay in place.

The group says weather conditions on Tuesday did not allow them to patrol the area and they are now waiting for the next satellite signals.

The beluga strayed into New Brunswick”s Nepisiguit River weeks ago, and was removed in a complex operation that saw the endangered marine mammal travel by land, sea and air before being released.

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