The other two whales were thought to have left the area – but one whale appears to be stranded in the river, home to a large number of saltwater crocodiles.
“The whale got out of the tides this weekend and we are glad that it seems to be in good condition and has no harmful effects,”
Dr. Carol Palmer, a senior government scientist, called the whale’s escape “great news.”
“It was fantastic to work with Kakadu staff as well as experts from scientists to identify ways to help the whale, but I am very happy that it has found its way,” Palmer said in a statement from the park. “This is the best result we could hope for.”
The whale apparently got stuck after getting confused during the migration, the national park said. “As far as we know, this is the first time this has happened,” a statement said last week.
The park said it was concerned about a number of dangers – in addition to crocodiles, there is also the possibility of a boat colliding with a whale or inadvertently pushing it up the river.
Sea crocodiles are ambush predators known to attack and kill people. Despite their name, they can also be found more than 161 kilometers upstream from the shore in freshwater habitats.
According to the park’s instructions for visitors, crocodiles can remain hidden underwater for long periods and can move with a lot of stealth and camouflage. They are fast-acting and are known to move at speeds of up to 40 feet (12.1 meters) per second when catching prey over short distances.
CNN’s Lian Collirin contributed to this report.