France races to rescue beluga whale stranded in Seine

French authorities and NGOs have continued their efforts to rescue a beluga whale that swam dozens of kilometres inland up the Seine river, a uncommon occasion that threatens the lifetime of the protected species.

The whale was first seen on Tuesday in the river that flows via Paris to the English Channel, separated from its pod and apparently underweight, regional officers say.

It was noticed once more in the present day between the locks at Poses and Saint-Pierre-la-Garenne, round 100km inland from the port metropolis of Le Havre and almost midway up the waterway to the French capital.

Despite being a notably sociable mammal, “it is behaving the same as yesterday, it seems very skittish. It rises to the surface only briefly, followed by long dives,” mentioned Gerard Mauger of the GECC marine dialog society.

He famous that primarily based on sonar recordings it was additionally emitting only a few of the chirps and quicks the whales are recognized for, elevating additional issues in regards to the animal’s well being.

Belugas are usually discovered solely in chilly Arctic waters, and whereas they migrate south in the autumn to feed as ice varieties, they not often enterprise up to now.

Authorities haven’t launched particulars on the beluga’s measurement, however an grownup can attain up to 4 metres (13 toes) in size.

Contacted by AFP, officers in the Eure division of Normandy, that are supervising the rescue makes an attempt, declined to define their plans.

“We think a DNA test needs to be done quickly so we can determine where it came from and repatriate it,” mentioned Lamya Essemlali, president of the Sea Shepherd NGO.

“The most urgent thing is to feed it with dead fish, probably frozen herring, to keep it from exhaustion because this is not the ideal environment for it,” she informed AFP.

It is just the second recorded sighting of a beluga in a French river since 1948, when a fisherman in the estuary of the Loire river discovered one in his nets.

The sighting comes just some months after a killer whale, also referred to as an orca, however technically a part of the dolphin household, turned stranded in the Seine and was later discovered lifeless between Le Havre and Rouen in late May.

An post-mortem discovered that the animal, greater than 4 metres lengthy, had seemingly suffered exhaustion after being unable to feed.

However, officers mentioned they’d additionally found a bullet lodged in the bottom of its cranium, though it was removed from clear that the wound performed a task in its dying.

primarily based on website supplies www.rte.ie

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