A beluga whale pulled from the River Seine died during the rescue attempt

“Despite the unprecedented action to rescue the beluga, we are saddened to announce the cetacean’s death,” the municipality of Calvados announced on Twitter, announcing that the whale had been euthanized during transport.

This morning, at 02:00 (03:00 in Lisbon), after a six-hour effort, the cetacean was lifted into a net, pulled by a crane and placed on a boat, where it was immediately cared for by a dozen veterinarians. .

The beluga whale, four meters long and weighing around 800 kilograms, whose condition was considered “critical”, was stranded near the Saint-Pierre-la-Garenne lock, northwest of Paris.

Twenty-four divers of the French militarized police (Gendarmerie) and firefighters participated in the operation.

But the animal did not resist.

The exceptional presence of this marine mammal in the Seine, about 130 kilometers from the river’s mouth in the English Sea, has sparked great interest beyond French borders, with donations from foundations, associations and individuals trying to help. Recovery.

Spotted on August 2, the cetacean, which normally lives in cold water, was on Tuesday in the warm and stagnant waters of a flood gate that entered alone 70 kilometers northwest of Paris.

A Marineland team member in Antibes, in the south, who arrived at the scene on Monday night, insisted the rescue operation would be “out of the ordinary”.

The banks of the Seine were “inaccessible to vehicles” at that point and “everything had to be carried by hand,” he said, adding that the “priority” was to “put it back into seawater.”

Once transported by truck to Ouistreham, the animal must be kept in a seawater lock for three days to allow it to be cared for before being taken out to sea and released. Which did not happen.

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In May, an orca also got into trouble in the Seine, rescue efforts failed and the animal died of starvation.

According to the Pelakis Observatory, a marine mammal specialist, this is the second beluga known in France, after a fisherman from the banks of the Loire, a large river in the center of the country, caught one in his net in 1948.

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