The stray beluga whale has now been rescued from the French river Seine. He is now driven to Normandy in a refrigerated truck. But he is remarkably thin, say experts.
The beluga whale, which was stuck in a Seine lock in France for days, was lifted out of the river with a crane in a rescue operation that lasted around six hours. “After long hours of preparation and effort, the Beluga was retrieved from the water,” Sea Shepherd France wrote on Twitter early this morning. Attached photos showed the beluga hovering over the Seine in a net supported by steel chains. The beluga whale has been examined and is in poor condition, Deputy Prefect Isabelle Dorliat-Pouzet told BFMTV in the morning.
He was located in a river lock around 70 kilometers from Paris over the weekend. “He’s terribly thin for a beluga and that doesn’t bode well for his medium-term life expectancy,” said Dorliat-Pouzet.
The whale is now in a refrigerated truck, where it is kept wet with towels, the broadcaster reported. He will now be taken to a seawater basin in Ouistreham, Normandy. Around 80 people were involved in the operation, which has been running since 10 p.m., including around 20 divers.
It is not the first time that a large whale has strayed into the French river: in May an orca starved to death after weeks of odyssey in the Seine, in July a fin whale was presumably sighted in the river estuary near Le Havre. dpa