Health & Fit: Le Beluga which was lost in the Seine refuses to eat

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Le béluga est une petite baleine blanche qui vit habituellement dans les eaux arctiques. © Jean-François Monier / AFP Le Beluga is a small white whale which usually lives in Arctic Waters.

The Beluga which has lost itself in the Seine refuses to feed itself. He entered a lock on Friday August 5, 2022 in the evening, 70 km from Paris, placing it in an additional stressful situation, according to the rescue teams who still hope to manage it.

Des équipes de l'ONG Sea Shepherd à la recherche du béluga égaré dans la Seine. © Jean-François Monier / AFP of the NGO Sea Shepherd teams in search of lost beluga in the Seine.

Le Béluga, spotted Tuesday in Seine , entered a lock on Friday August 5, 2022 in the evening, 70 km from Paris, a situation which represents an "risk of additional stress" for this cetacean, which refuses to Eat.

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The lock in which the beluga returned, a species protected of cetacea usually living in cold waters, is now closed and prohibited for navigation until further notice, according to the prefecture of Eure.

But this situation can also represent "a risk of additional stress that we do not want to take" , warned with AFP the president of the NGO Sea Shepherd, Lamya Essemlali.

Read also: Béluga in the Seine: what we know after the rescue attempt

Refuses to eat

She deplored that "The attempts at feeding in the river have not yet interested Béluga " but that there remains a hope that " It is different in the lock ".

"We would like him to eat, but if he does not react positively it will become complicated", she continued about the animal, now isolated in the lock of Notre-Dame de la Garenne near Vernon, 70 km northwest of the capital.

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She was pessimistic about the possible consequences if the animal does not feed: "The veterinarians specialized in belugas tell us that it is necessary to act quickly, its thinness being very advanced, and getting it out of the 'Water to give it care promises to be very difficult ”.

Complicated rescue operation

Gérard Mauger, vice-president of the Cotentin Cetaceans Study Group (Geec) continued to observe the Beluga on Friday. "He has the same behavior as yesterday, very fleeing. He made very short surface appearances, followed by long apnea, ”, said MAUGER.

approaching about fifty meters, "We made acoustic recordings, with our cut engines, but he did not make sound emissions" , he regretted.

Four boats were Friday in the area, according to MAUGER, that of the SDIS (Departmental Fire and Rescue Service), OFB (French Biodiversity Office), Sea Shepherd and SNSM (National Society of Sea rescue).

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An orca in May

in early July, Sea Shepherd announced that he had observed in the Le Havre estuary a cetacean presented as a Rorqual.

In May, it was an orca that found itself in difficulty in the Seine between Rouen and Le Havre. The operations to try to save the cetacean had failed and the animal had finally died of hunger.

The necropsy-a post-mortem exam carried out on an animal-had confirmed the "bad physical condition" of the orca, an immature female of more than four meters and 1100 kg. It had made it possible to discover a ball housed at the base of the mammal skull.

"No certainty" could have been established on the link between the ammunition and the death of the Orca, the experts favoring "the hypothesis that the animal is dead of inanition" .

This sad outcome, “This is what we want to avoid with beluga. For us, we must do a DNA test quickly to know its origin and make a repatriation ”, underlined Ms. Essemlali.

Emergency to feed the Beluga

"The urgency is already to feed it with dead fish, frozen herring probably, to prevent it from exhausting because the environment is not very welcoming for him" , had had Estimated Ms. Essemlali.

According to the Pelagis Observatory, specialist in marine mammals, it is the second beluga known in France after a fisherman of the Loire estuary had gone one in his nets in 1948.

in 1966, another Individual had raised the Rhine to Germany and in 2018, a beluga had been observed in the Thames estuary in England, recalls Pelagis.

"These cases of wandering remain unusual and unexplained, with probably multiple reasons such as health, age (the subadults dispersing more easily), social isolation, environmental conditions, etc. the observatory.

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