- Leo Sands and George Wright
- BBC News
French rescue workers desperately trying to rescue a beluga whale trapped in the Seine say there is little hope that it will survive.
The team of experts had hoped to help the lost whale regain the appetite and energy it needed to get back to sea.
The mammal, which appears to be malnourished, was first seen in the Seine on Tuesday, about 70 kilometers north of the French capital, Paris.
After several failed attempts to encourage her to swim, the lifeguards are now pessimistic chances of survival.
Until now, the four-meter whale was offered frozen herring and trout to eat, but it seems that the mammals did not accept food.
Authorities have considered injecting the stranded animal with vitamins to stimulate its appetite and help it make the 100-mile journey back to the English Channel, where it can swim back to its natural habitat: the cold waters of the arctic and sub-Arctic.
Leaving it in warm standing water between locking gates is no longer an option.
“It must be moved In the next 24 to 48 hours, “These conditions are not good for her,” Lamia al-Samali, director of the French organization Sea Shepherd, told AFP.
Ismali said specialists had “little hope” that the malnourished whale would survive.
“We all doubt that they will be able to return to the sea,” the expert added. Even if we ‘drive it’ (with the help of) a boat, it will be very dangerousIf not impossible.”
Esmali stressed that “euthanasia” has been ruled out for the time being.
On Saturday, the authorities reported the appearance of small spots on the whale’s skin, but it is not yet known whether this is a reaction to the fresh waters of the Seine River, completely different from its natural habitat with salt water, or a sign of deterioration. of animal health.
Scientific observers note that the whale was display abnormal behaviorwhich only surfaces briefly and releases fewer songs than the average whale, raising further concerns about its well-being.
Experts are baffled by how the whale has managed to escape so far from the cold waters, its natural habitat.
Beluga whales occasionally wander south in the fall to feed while the ice is forming, but they rarely travel far from their home.
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