Beluga whale that was in River Seine dies

Beluga whale that was in River Seine dies

Rescuers pull up a net after they rescued a beluga whale stranded in the River Seine to bring it into a truck to drive it towards Ouistreham (Calvados), at Notre Dame de la-Garenne, northern France, on Wednesday. (Photo: AFP)
Rescuers pull up a net after they rescued a beluga whale stranded in the River Seine to bring it into a truck to drive it towards Ouistreham (Calvados), at Notre Dame de la-Garenne, northern France, on Wednesday. (Photo: AFP)

PARIS: The beluga whale which was lifted out of the River Seine earlier on Wednesday has died, despite the mission to save it, according to local authorities.

"Despite an unprecedented rescue operation for the beluga, we are sad to announce the death of the cetacean," the prefect of the Calvados department, said on Twitter. 

According to reports, the whale was euthanised during road transfer to the coast after it developed breathing difficulties.

The all-white beluga strayed into the River Seine as authorities worked on its rescue. The extraction of the 800-kilogramme cetacean took six hours.

"The veterinarians are not necessarily optimistic concerning the beluga's health," Isabelle Dorliat-Pouzet, secretary general of the Eure prefecture, told BFM TV prior to its death.

"It's horribly thin for a beluga and that does not bode well for its life expectancy for the medium term," she said.

In late May, a gravely ill orca swam dozens of miles up the Seine and died of natural causes after attempts to guide it back to sea failed.

In September 2018, a beluga whale was spotted in the River Thames near Gravesend, east of London, for a few days, in what was then the most southerly sighting of a beluga on British shores. The whales typically live in pods in Arctic coastal waters.


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