Scottish Canals can confirm that reports of a rare mammal sighting at Banavie on the Caledonian Canal are true.
After receiving a call from a concerned member of the public, Scottish Canals’ environmental team investigated the claims and were able to capture photographic evidence of a manatee swimming in the canal.
The unexpected visitor is the first to be spotted in a UK inland waterway.
Speaking of the news, Dr Olaf Pirol, Head Environmental Scientist for Scottish Canals, said: “We received a call yesterday evening from a member of the public who had spotted a large creature in the canal. Of course, our first thought was that ‘Nessie’ had been sighted again.
“We believe this to be another example of how global warming is drastically impacting our ecosystem. With changes in water temperature, we have seen a substantial increase in the number of freshwater plants in our canals. This provides ample food stock for large herbivores and makes the canal an ideal home for these great mammals.”
Scottish Canals will now undertake a protected species survey.
Boaters are able to transit the canal as normal.