- The condition of a beluga whale that went missing in Paris waters worsened as it was washed ashore. The vets put him to sleep.
- Earlier, emergency services rescued the whale and tended to the weak and emaciated animal.
- The whale was first spotted in the Seine a week ago.
“During the trip to the beach, the veterinarians noticed that his condition was deteriorating – especially his breathing,” official veterinarian Florence Olivet-Courtois told the media.
They didn’t want to make the whale suffer, so they put it to sleep. The province of Calvados announced the animal’s death on Twitter.
The marine mammal, which was four meters long and weighed about 800 kilograms, was lifted by a crane into a net from a lock in the northern French municipality of Saint-Pierre-la-Garenne around 4 a.m. on Wednesday, journalists said. From AFP news agency on site. About 80 people, including about 20 divers, are involved in the operation.
The first examination confirmed the poor condition of the emaciated whale. So the vets thought his chances of survival were slim.
Nevertheless, rescuers loaded the whale into a refrigerated truck, where it was kept wet with towels. He was to be taken to Ouistreham in Normandy in a seawater tank.
Stuck in the boot
The beluga whale was first spotted in the Seine last week on Tuesday. Since Friday he has been stuck in a lock in Saint-Pierre-La-Garenne, 70 kilometers from Paris – 130 kilometers from the Seine estuary on the English Channel.
According to experts, the animal cannot survive long in warm fresh water. Beluga whales typically live in Arctic waters off the coasts of Russia, Alaska, and Canada.
So animal rights activists came up with the idea of pulling the marine mammal out of the river, taking it to a seawater tank, feeding it and then releasing it into the sea.
The passion and willingness to donate in France is huge. Among others, the marine conservation organization Sea Shepherd collected donations for the rescue operation.
A weak animal
Over the past few days, several attempts to feed the emaciated and weakened animal have been unsuccessful. According to experts, his lack of appetite could be a symptom of the disease.
What will happen to the whale is still open. It is not known why the animal got lost in the sea.
According to experts, this is the second time a beluga has lost its way to France. A fisherman first spotted one in his net in 1948 in the Lower Estuary.
In May, an orca was lost in the sea. After weeks of OTC in the river, the animal finally starved to death. In July, a fin whale was believed to have been spotted on the banks of the river near Le Havre.
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