Whale in Wellington Harbour

Whale given a wide berth by ferries as it jumps and rolls in Wellington Harbor

Ferries are taking extra precautions travelling through Wellington Harbor this week to avoid harming the visiting whale.

The rare southern right whale has made the harbor its home since Tuesday, when it was first spotted jumping and rolling in the frigid winter waters.

Ferry crew are “fully aware of the possibility of whales” and take all practicable steps to avoid the creatures while travelling across the Cook Strait.

In the case of the whale in Wellington Harbor, this has included sounding the ship’s horn.

A marine tracking site earlier showed the ferry had to circle part of the harbor as the whale was stopping it from berthing. Thompson said it was spotted near the Inter-islander terminal.

As a precaution, the Inter-islander ferry Kaiarahi delayed berthing until it could do so without putting the whale at risk.

A police spokesperson said they also recommend people don’t stop their cars on the motorway. There is no word yet on whether tomorrow’s Matariki fireworks display will be called off or not.

Wellington City Council is seeking advice on whether the display needs to be cancelled while the whale is still in the harbor.

About Joslyne Thaggard

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