Whale spotted at the mouth of the Yodo River in Osaka

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An 8-meter whale was spotted Monday near the mouth of the Yodo River in Osaka, a rare sighting of the large mammal in Osaka Bay, the Coast Guard said.

A truck driver in a parking lot near the estuary reported spraying a cetacean animal shortly after 7:30 am. A Coast Guard vessel was dispatched to the location and kept an eye on the whale to prevent it from going further upstream.

The Coast Guard also warned ships passing through the area to watch out for the animal.

“It could be a young sperm whale living in the Pacific Ocean that has strayed from its herd. It could be weak because it seemed like it was just floating,” Tsutomu Tamura of the Tokyo-based Institute of Cetacean Research said in a statement.

Osaka Bay is largely enclosed by Awaji Island, which leaves two narrow passages to the north and south. The southern opening leads to the Pacific Ocean.

Photo taken from a TBEN News helicopter shows a whale found close to the mouth of the Yodo River in Osaka on Jan. 9, 2023. (TBEN)