Beluga whales spotted in Jersey Shore rivers

Three juvenile beluga whales have surfaced in two rivers along the New Jersey shore.

3 beluga whales spotted in Jersey Shore rivers.

3 beluga whales spotted in Jersey Shore rivers. (6/2/15)

HIGHLANDS - Three juvenile beluga whales have surfaced in two rivers along the New Jersey shore.

They are believed to be the same whales that appeared off Rhode Island on Mother's Day and in Long Island waters over the Memorial Day weekend.

The whales spent time in the Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers.

Residents and tourists have been coming over to see if they can catch glimpses of the whales. Many are trying to take pictures.

"It was just so awesome, seeing the white color.  The fact that the belugas are really here is amazing," says Joan Bruno, who came to see the whales.

Marine mammal experts are worried about the whales because they do not think they will be able to get out on their own.

Marine Mammal Stranding Center director Bob Schoelkopf says "There are far more deaths than recoveries in these rivers.  It's difficult for them to navigate out."

Schoelkopf hopes the recent heavy rainfall will lower the salinity in the rivers and the whales will return to sea.

Marine mammal experts say the temperature of the rivers and the salt content of the water are not good for beluga whales.  The conditions can give them lesions and infections.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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