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Humpback whale is free after swimming out of crocodile-infested river in Australia

September 21, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

A humpback whale has swum free from a crocodile-infested river in Australia, after being stranded there for two weeks, authorities announced on Monday.

(CNN)A humpback whale has swum free from a crocodile-infested river in Australia, after being stranded there for two weeks, authorities announced on Monday.

It all began when three humpback whales entered East Alligator River in Kakadu National Park.

They were spotted last Tuesday, a week after having entered the river, said a spokeswoman for the park, located in Australia's Northern Territory.

The other two whales were thought to have left the area -- but one whale appeared to have gotten stuck in the river, home to a large number of saltwater crocodiles.

"After monitoring the whale this weekend, we're delighted to see it has made its way out of Kakadu's East Alligator River and into Van Diemen Gulf," said Feach Moyle, manager of the park's Country and Culture Section, in a statement on Monday.

"The whale made its way out on the high tides of this weekend and we're pleased it appeared to be in good condition and not suffering any ill effects," Moyle added, thanking authorities on state, local and indigenous levels for collaborating on "this very unusual situation. "

"It's been fantastic working with staff at Kakadu as well as expert scientists to identify ways to assist the whale, but I'm very happy it has found its own way," Palmer said in the park's statement.

The whale had apparently gotten stranded after becoming confused during migration, said the national park.

The park said it had been concerned about a number of dangers -- apart from the crocodiles, there was also the possibility of a boat colliding with the whale or inadvertently pushing it further up the river.

However, the park added last week, the whale did not appear to be in distress.

Every year between April and November, Australia's eastern coastline is full of migrating humpback whales; the animals spend their summers feeding in Antarctic waters, before migrating to sub-tropical waters to mate and give birth.

Australia's largest national park, Kakadu is dual-listed on the The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List for its outstanding natural and cultural values, according to the park's website.

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