AUGUST, 31, 2018
31 / 08 / 2018
The excitement is palpable aboard our research boat, the Bleuvet. We’ve located a herd of about 150 belugas. Such large encounters are intriguing for us. What are all these young and adult animals doing together? The 150 belugas are not all side by side; rather, they are split into four to five groups that are nevertheless relatively close to one another. We start photographing the belugas one by one, attempting to capture both their left and right flanks in order to identify them individually. This is when we observe Gaston, recognizable by the two scars on his left side.
Evidently, the belugas are also excited by this gathering, their pectoral fins and tails regularly poking out above the water surface. There are even flashes of their pink penises that stand out against their white skins and the blue water. But by late August, the breeding season should have ended a long time ago! This is not the first time our team has observed such behaviour outside of the breeding season. Is this a sort of training session? Or is the breeding period longer than we thought? Without a doubt, we still have much to learn about the lives of St. Lawrence belugas.