Beluga whale dies throughout rescue try after changing into stranded in France’s Seine river

Rescuers pull up a internet as they rescue a beluga whale stranded within the Seine river at Notre Dame de la-Garenne, northern France, August 9, 2022.


Saint-Pierre-la-Garenne, France — A beluga whale stranded within the Seine river in northern France for greater than per week was faraway from the water early Wednesday in a dangerous rescue operation, however officers stated the animal died because it was pushed in a refrigerated truck again towards the coast. 

“Regardless of an unprecedented rescue operation we should announce with disappointment that the cetacean has died,” the authorities within the Normandy area of Calvados tweeted, including that the whale needed to be put down throughout transport.

After practically six hours of labor by dozens of divers and rescuers, the 1,800-pound whale was lifted from the river by a internet and crane at round 4:00 a.m. (10 p.m. Jap) and positioned on a barge underneath the rapid care of a dozen veterinarians.

The beluga, a protected species often present in chilly Arctic waters, was then given a well being examine and pushed in a refrigerated truck towards the coastal city of Ouistreham.

Veterinarians take care of a beluga whale that was lifted from a lock within the Seine river earlier than setting off towards Ouistreham (Calvados), inside a truck in Saint-Pierre-la-Garenne, northern France, August 10, 2022.


The plan had been to then place the beluga in a seawater lock the place it might be held for remark for a number of days earlier than being launched into the open sea. However officers in Eure, the place the beluga was stranded, stated the whale was worryingly skinny and in unhealthy form when it was lifted out of the river.

“It bodes, in response to veterinarians, for a poor important prognosis,” the Eure prefecture stated in a press release after the primary stage of the rescue operation, which it stated was “notably advanced.”

The 13-foot whale was noticed greater than per week in the past heading towards Paris and was stranded about 81 miles inland from the Channel at Saint-Pierre-la-Garenne in Normandy.

Since Friday, the animal’s motion inland had been blocked by a lock at Saint-Pierre-la-Garenne, 44 miles northwest of Paris, and its well being deteriorated because it refused to eat.

Isabelle Dorliat-Pouzet, secretary common of the Eure prefecture, stated earlier that medical checks could be carried out earlier than transporting the whale.

Veterinarians handle a beluga whale that was stranded within the Seine river at Notre Dame de la-Garenne, northern France, August 9, 2022.


“He’s a male, that he’s very underweight and that he has a number of sores,” she stated.

The animal’s rescue was shortly hailed early Wednesday when it was taken out of the river after a nail-biting few days.  

“Right now is a superb day for this beluga whale and for everybody concerned in its rescue,” conservation group Sea Shepherd stated on its web site. However the operation to return it to the ocean was by no means with out large dangers, stated Isabelle Brasseur of the Marineland sea animal park in southern France, a part of a Marineland staff despatched to help with the rescue.

“It might be that he dies now, in the course of the dealing with, in the course of the journey or at level B,” in Ouistreham, she informed AFP on Tuesday earlier than the animal was loaded fastidiously into the truck.

The 24 divers concerned within the operation and the rescuers dealing with the ropes needed to strive a number of instances between 10:00 pm and 4:00 am to lure the animal into the nets to be lifted out of the water.

A beluga whale is seen swimming up France’s Seine river, close to a lock in Courcelles-sur-Seine, western France, August 5, 2022.


As preparations for the operation received underneath manner, individuals gathered alongside the banks of the river to look at.

Curiosity within the beluga’s destiny had unfold far past France, producing a big inflow of economic donations and different help from conservation teams in addition to people, officers stated.

Whereas belugas migrate south within the autumn to feed as ice types of their native Arctic waters, they hardly ever enterprise to date.

In keeping with France’s Pelagis Observatory, which specialises in sea mammals, the closest beluga inhabitants is off the Svalbard archipelago, north of Norway, some 1,800 miles from the Seine.

The trapped whale was solely the second beluga ever sighted in France. The primary was pulled out of the Loire estuary in a fisherman’s internet in 1948.

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