A first for Belgium: Narwhal washed up in Bornem

For the first time ever in Belgium the corps of a dead narwhal has been washed up in the River Schelde at Bornem in Antwerp Province. A narwhal is a medium-sized toothed whale that possesses a large tusk from a protruding canine tooth. Narwhal’s normally live he Arctic waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia.

Before now there were no recorded reports of narwhals in Belgium. In the Netherlands a narwhal was spotted for the last time in 1912 in what was then still the Zuiderzee, most of which is currently the IJsselmeer.

The narwhal that was washed up in Boornem is a young male with a tusk measuring around 50 cm. The dead narwhal was found by two walkers at a lock on the Schelde, near Bornem.

The corpse of the dead creature has been taken to Ghent University’s for an autopsy. There biologist from Ghent and Liège universities will examine the narwhal. Its skeleton will be kept ant the Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences in Brussels.


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