A beluga stuck in the Seine refuses to eat
Efforts to feed a very thin beluga whale that strayed into the Seine in France have failed, and experts are trying to get the whale out of the lock where it is stuck, environmentalists said on Monday.
The Marine Conservation Group Sea Shepherd France tweeted on Monday that “attempts to feed him continue alongside the search for a solution to get him out of the airlock in the best conditions”.
Site experts said the beluga shouldn’t stay too long in the warm, stagnant water between the lock gates.
“Beluga still not eating but still showing curiosity,” Sea Shepherd France tweeted. Overnight, the whale “rubbed itself against the wall of the lock and got rid of the stains that had appeared on its back. Antibiotics may also have helped.
The lost beluga was first seen in the French river, far from its arctic habitat, last week. Drone footage shot by French firefighters showed the whale gently meandering through a section of the river’s bright green waters between Paris and the Normandy city of Rouen, several tens of kilometers inland from the sea.
Experts have been trying since Friday to feed the beluga with dead herring and live trout, without success. Sea Shepherd fears the whale will slowly starve in the waterway and die.
Local authorities said vets gave the whale vitamins and appetite-boosting products, as well as medical treatment.