Specialists working on the operation say they do not know if the 4-meter-long mammal is not eating because it lacks energy or is sick. They tried to feed him live trout.
The animal, which is far from the frigid waters of the Arctic, is slowly swimming between two locks about 80 km from Paris. (see more in the video below). Veterinarians should make a health assessment of the beluga before making a decision on how to intervene. Initially, they will try to inject vitamins.
“He didn’t seem very interested. [na comida]”, Isabelle Dorliat-Pouzet, an official in the Eure department, told reporters.
France studies options for beluga whale on the River Seine
Isabelle stated that no decision has yet been made on how to return the animal to the ocean. One option was to try to get her back out to sea. Another was to remove it from the river and transport it, but the expert said it was not possible to know if the whale was strong enough for such a dangerous operation.
“Few people think she will return 160 km to sea on her own,” the official added.
The all-white beluga normally lives in the arctic and subarctic oceans, although it sometimes ventures into waters further south and can survive for a short time in fresh water.
She moved away from her habitat, swimming 160 km up the Seine, past the port of Rouen and towards the French capital. Marks were starting to appear on her skin, which is considered a possible sign of deteriorating health.
In May, a sick orca separated from her pod died of natural causes in the Seine after attempts to guide her back to sea failed. (see more in the video below). A month later, another whale, believed to be a Minke, was spotted at the site.
In September 2018, a beluga whale was spotted in the River Thames for a few days.
Orca lost in the Seine River is in fragile health
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