A whale surfaces in the lower Otago Harbour yesterday afternoon. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
A whale ventured into the lower Otago Harbour near Port
Chalmers yesterday, just two days after a pod of four
southern right whales was spotted off the Otago coast near
But the whale in the harbour had a dorsal fin, so could not
be a southern right whale, Department of Conservation
biodiversity ranger Jim Fyfe said.
Its species remained a mystery last night.
''Other candidates include the humpback whale, but it's a bit
early for humpback whales with calves to be coming south from
the tropics,'' Mr Fyfe said.
The department was notified about sightings of a southern
right whale pod, which included a calf and its mother, off
Katiki Beach near Shag Point on Wednesday.
The sightings, south of Moeraki, were followed by another
report of whales seen off the coast at Karitane on Wednesday
''We believe they were the same whales,'' Mr Fyfe said.
Usually, southern right whales navigated Otago's coast in
winter, so it was late in the season for sightings, he said.
''It's not entirely unusual, but it's mating season now. We
haven't had a great number of southern right whale sightings
through the winter this year, so it's good to know we've
still got some.''