Latin America & Caribbean

Whale swims into Buenos Aires marina

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Media captionMembers of the public gathered at the dock to catch a glimpse of the whale

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

The creature was seen surfacing amongst the luxury yachts in Puerto Madero, with hundreds lining up for a glimpse.

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

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

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

"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 specialist looking at the numerous images on social media identified it as a minke whale, warning La Nacion (in Spanish) 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.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Sightings of the whale caused a buzz on social media
Image copyright AFP
Image caption It has been estimated to be around six metres long, and is most likely a young whale separated from its herd
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Officials tried to coax the creature down river, but it's not clear yet if they were successful

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