French set to use vitamins to rescue whale caught in Seine

French set to use vitamins to rescue whale caught in Seine

August 7, 2022

beluga whale

Credit, Getty Images

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Perceptive scientists say the whale appears to be malnourished

French authorities desperate to rescue a beluga whale caught in the Seine have come up with a new strategy a vitamin cocktail.

According to agency AFP, rescuers hope the vitamins will help the lost whale regain its appetite and the energy it needs to return to the sea.

The visibly malnourished mammal was spotted for the first time on Tuesday (February 8) in the river about 70 km north of Paris.

After unsuccessful attempts to encourage it to swim, the animal remains trapped and scientists worry about its health.

So far, rescuers have offered the fourmeterlong whale frozen herring and live trout to eat, but a local official in Eure, Isabelle DorliatPouzet, said the animal refused to accept either.

“She’s pretty exhausted and seems to be having trouble eating,” she told AFP.

Authorities hope injecting the stranded animal with vitamins will whet its appetite and help it make the long 100mile (100 km) return journey down the river back to the English Channel from where it can swim back to its arctic habitat . .

Another option to consider is removing the whale from the river entirely, but that would require the mammal to have enough strength to survive an even riskier journey.

Credit, Getty Images

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The beluga whale, photographed on Saturday, rose to the surface between two locks on the Seine

Officials said on Saturday that small spots had appeared on the whale’s skin, but it was not yet clear whether this was a reaction to the Seine’s fresh water as opposed to its natural saltwater habitat or a sign of the animal’s deteriorating health be .

Scientific observers said the whale was acting skittishly, only appearing briefly and making fewer of the songs one would expect from a whale, raising further concerns about its welfare.

Experts are fascinated by how the whale managed to stray so far from its natural habitat the frigid waters of the Arctic and subarctic.

Belugas occasionally migrate south in the fall to forage, but it’s rare for them to stray so far from their region. But similar stories are not unknown.

In May, a killer whale was found dead after swimming in the Seine in Normandy. A plan to use sonic stimuli to guide the fourmetertall male orca back to the sea failed, and experts later concluded she was seriously ill.

In 2019, a dead whale was found in the River Thames near Gravesend, British officials said. This came just weeks after a humpback whale died swimming in the same body of water. She is believed to have entered the Thames due to a navigational error, possibly during high tide.

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