The beluga traveled up the Seine before its risky rescue operation at Notre-Dame-de-la-Garenne in northern France.
The stray beluga, which had been in an alarming state of health for more than a week in a river in northwestern France, died while being transported to a lock where it was to be treated, announced local authorities on Wednesday.
Despite an unprecedented beluga rescue operation, we are sad to announce the death of the cetacean, announced the prefecture of Calvados on Twitter, specifying that it was euthanized.
Rescuers haul in a net to rescue a beluga whale stranded in the Seine at Notre-Dame-de-la-Garenne in northern France on 9 August 2022.
He died on the road before arriving in the town of Ouistreham, where he was to be examined by veterinarians before a possible transfer, the prefecture said in a press release. He then had to, if his condition allowed, stay several days in a lock before being released into the open sea.
But despite the technical and logistical means implemented, Unfortunately, the condition of the cetacean deteriorated during the trip, the prefecture added.
“Veterinary expertise revealed the situation of great weakness and failing respiratory activity of the beluga. The decision was therefore taken collectively, with the veterinarians, to euthanize him. »
— Excerpt from the press release from the prefecture of Calvados
On Twitter, the veterinarian of the rescue service intervened, Florence Ollivet-Courtois, explained that during the trip, the veterinarians noted a deterioration […] [of] respiratory activities of the cetacean, four meters in height. long and about 800 kilos.
We could see that the animal was in anoxia [a decrease in the quantity of oxygen, Editor's note], therefore insufficiently ventilated, and therefore the suffering was obvious for this animal, she continued.
We decided that it was not relevant to release it and therefore that& #x27;he had to be euthanized, she added.
The NGO Sea Shepherd has also confirmed the death of the cetacean.
It is with heavy hearts that we announce that the beluga did not survive the translocation which was risky, but essential to give a luck to an otherwise doomed animal. Following the deterioration of his condition, the veterinarians took the decision to euthanize him, can we read on the same social network.
A rescue operation was launched on Tuesday to help a beluga, lost for a week in the Seine, 70 kilometers from Paris. The story of Lise Villeneuve.
The presence of the cetacean, spotted more than a week ago in the Seine, about 130 kilometers from the mouth of the river in the English Channel, when it usually evolves in cold waters, had caused a great stir, even beyond the French borders, with an influx of donations from foundations, associations and individuals to try to save it.
In May, it was an orca who had found herself in difficulty in the Seine. The operations to try to save the cetacean had failed and the animal finally died of starvation.
According to the Pelagis observatory, a specialist in marine mammals, the beluga arctic and subarctic distribution. Although the best known population is in the St. Lawrence estuary (Quebec), the closest to our shores is in Svalbard, an archipelago located in northern Norway, 3000 kilometers from the Seine.
According to the same source, this is the second beluga known in France after a fisherman from the Loire estuary, the great river of center of the country, had reassembled one in its nets in 1948.