Beluga Whales Adopt Lost Narwhal

September 14, 2018

Drone footage shows a young narwhal that appears to have been adopted by a pod of beluga whales in the St. Lawrence River.

beluga whales adopt narwhal
Credit: GREMM

The video was captured by the Group for Education and Research on Marine Mammals (GREMM), a non-profit group dedicated to whale research, conservation and education.

In the drone footage, a pod of 10 belugas swim closely together near the surface, rolling and rubbing against each other. The interactions between the narwhal and the belugas appear to be identical to those among just the belugas, suggesting the narwhal has been fully accepted as part of the group.

The researchers reported that it behaved like the belugas, even blowing bubbles from time to time.


Robert Michaud, GREMM's president and scientific director, said it's not unusual for young whales to wander into strange habitats. Some, unable to find their own kind, end up trying to make friends with boats and humans.

"That little narwhal that made a similar trip was very lucky," Michaud said. "Because he found almost normal buddies."

Watch the video below.

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