The specimen was first noticed on Tuesday. A mystery how he entered the river, an environment that was not hospitable to him. Now the experts are trying to push it towards the mouth
That belugas migrated during the hottest season was a fact known to all marine biologists on the planet. Usually, however, these characteristic whitish cetaceans move north from the waters of Canada and the Bering Strait. therefore a mystery like one specimen managed to swim south to the point of taking the Seine and arriving a few kilometers from Paris.
The first sighting took place on Tuesday, in a stretch of the great French river near Rouen. Firefighters and a team of researchers from the French Biodiversity Office intervened immediately. The mammal was identified thanks to a drone: from the first findings it appeared thinner than the canonical size – a beluga can reach 5 meters in length and easily exceed a ton – and with abnormal markings on the skin.
Symptoms, according to experts, of the precarious physical condition of the specimen: these cetaceans are unable to survive, except for a short period, in fresh water. For this reason every effort is being made to push the fish towards the mouth of the Seine. Operation that so far failed due to difficulties in approaching it: the mammal stuck on Thursday between two dams about ninety kilometers northeast of the capital, without experts being able to assess its conditions as it is very elusive, due to the unfamiliar environment in which it is found. Along the Seine, especially in that stretch, dozens of boats sail, and the seabed is considerably lower (and polluted) than the marine ones in which the schools of this protected species live.. This explains the order of the local authorities, who have asked citizens to stay as far away from the banks as possible.
The new attempts of approach in the past few hours have given little results. Yesterday Grard Mauger, vice president of the study group on cetaceans from beyond the Alps, admitted to theAfp: At this point we are wondering what to do. At this moment, explained Lamya Essemlali, president of Sea Sheperd France, the priority is that it is fed with fish, even frozen, so that it does not starve.
A beluga whale has been spotted in #France‘s Seine river, 80 kilometers northwest of #Paris. It’s unclear how the beluga came to be so far away from its natural habitat. Experts are working to assess its health condition.#Beluga #whale pic.twitter.com/hwUSb1FtL4
– Our World (@ OurWorl91027476) August 5, 2022
The malnutrition had caused the death of the orca that last May had always found itself in the Seine: unable to orient itself towards the sea, its carcass had been recovered and an autopsy had also found an old bullet lodged in the skull. Not even a month later, another case: a whale of about ten meters was sighted between the bends of the river.
It is more than unusual for such fish to venture into the French hinterland. The Pelagis observatory, which specializes in marine mammals, reports only one precedent in which a beluga was involved: it was 1948 and a fisherman had found a specimen entangled in nets thrown shortly before into the waters of the estuary of the Loire.
August 5, 2022 (change August 5, 2022 | 19:35)
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