Rescuers pull up a net with the beluga stranded in the Seine, during an ambitious rescue operation carried out in Saint-Pierre-la-Garenne (Eure), August 10, 2022. JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP Tuesday August 9, around 10 p.m., more than 80 people mobilized to extract a beluga from the lock of Saint-Pierre-La-Garenne (Eure), in the Seine, a hundred kilometers from the capital, and move it into a basin of water in Ouistreham, in Calvados. Twenty-four divers took turns to lure the cetacean into nets before the animal was finally captured at 4 a.m. “Despite the technical and logistical means implemented, the state of the cetacean unfortunately deteriorated during the trip”, explained in a press release the prefecture of Calvados, which makes it known that “the decision was therefore taken collectively, with veterinarians, to euthanize him”. Initial examinations were carried out and made it possible to understand that the white whale was old and that it “no longer had digestive mobility”, explains Florence Ollivet-Courtois, veterinarian of the departmental fire and rescue service. Read also: The beluga rescued from the Seine was euthanized after arriving in Ouistreham On August 2, the presence of the beluga was signaled by a video taken in Vatteport, in Eure. The animal then comes dangerously close to Paris before being stuck in the lock. Its presence in the fresh and warm waters of the Seine hampers every day a little more the chances of survival of the animal, accustomed to the cold waters of the Arctic Ocean. Especially since the vitamins administered to whet his appetite produce little effect. The state of this cetacean weighing 800 kilograms is considered worrying by veterinarians, even if he “swam vigorously”, nuance Antoine Derieux, director of the French Office for Biodiversity in Normandy. The option of euthanizing the beluga is discarded and it is decided to carry out a rescue operation, in vain. Extensive financial and human resources The resurgence of this type of incident raises questions. In May, an orca had already tried to swim up the Seine for several days before dying, while in 2018, a beluga stayed three months in the Thames estuary, in England, before disappearing. “There does indeed seem to be an increase in these cases of animals outside the sectors,” observes Stéphane Lair, director of the Quebec Center for Wild Animal Health. The scientist believes that this phenomenon could simply come from an “increase in populations, as we have seen with humpback whales”. The second reason put forward by the expert is that “dwelling places are increasingly degraded, these migratory behaviors suggest problems in access to resources”. You have 54.31% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.
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