A beluga in the Seine in France: a veterinarian will give him vitamins with darts


In France, a beluga has been spotted in the waters of the Seine. He is lost, disoriented, and continues to ascend the river. He no longer eats and is weakening. The chances of bringing him back to the sea are dwindling… The Eure prefecture has announced that vitamins will be administered to him by arrowing.

A beluga was spotted on August 2 in the waters of the Seine, near Paris in France. He appears weak and emaciated. But his faculties to remain in apnea for a long time, they seem to be intact. Between the Seine estuary in Le Havre and Paris, he traveled 170 km.

“He went through a lock that could possibly pose a problem with his ability to go back. At the same time, we can also say that if he managed to go through it, he could also do it in the other direction”, analyzes Sarah Wund, veterinarian for marine mammals at the University of La Rochelle. The lock, which is approximately 200 m long, is closed and closed to navigation until further notice.

Vitamins will be administered to the beluga so that it regains its appetite when it no longer eats, the Eure prefecture announced on Saturday. “The vitamins are administered by a veterinarian with the usual means, arrowing (…). There is no need to be impressed by this technique“, declared Isabelle Dorliat-Pouzet, secretary general of the prefecture of Eure, during a press briefing on Saturday near the lock of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garenne.

The beluga, a four-meter cetacean whose presence in the Seine is exceptional, still continued not to eat on Saturday, while it has been in a lock measuring approximately 125 m by 25 m since Friday. .

He is a fairly emaciated individual and seems to have feeding difficulties.“, said Ms. Dorliat-Pouzet. Attempts to feed it, with dead herring and then live trout, did not seem to be successful.

Among the hypotheses to prevent the cetacean from perishing are the reopening “from the lock to the sea, 160 km away, so that he can resume his journey“or keep it in the basin”so that he can regain his appetite“.

The animal may not survive if taken out of the water

Asked about the possibility of extracting it from the basin, Mrs. Dorliat-Pouzet replied that this was not the preferred hypothesis because the specialists are not certain “that the beluga is strong enough to withstand this manipulation“.

Any decision will be made”in the interest of the animal” and “no decision has been made yet“While analyzes are awaited, repeated the secretary general of the prefecture.

Another item, “small spots“appeared which may be natural due to fresh water but which may also mean”other difficulties“, according to the same source.

The beluga, which was Saturday “very calm“and going back and forth in the pool”calmly“, was spotted on August 2 in the Seine.

In May, an orca 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 starvation.

According to Mrs. Dorliat-Pouzet, the situation between the killer whale and the beluga is “very different“.The Orca”was weaker than the beluga” and “had disappeared from the radar for a while“. Those are “two different animals, the killer whale is less tolerant of fresh water than the beluga“, she explained.

According to the Pelagis observatory, a specialist in marine mammals, this is the second beluga known in France after a fisherman from the Loire estuary had brought one up in his nets in 1948.

The beluga is a protected cetacean species that usually lives in cold waters.

The nearest beluga population is off the coast of Norway, 3,000 km from the Seine. Was it the water pollution, or the noise pollution at sea that disoriented him? Impossible at this stage to provide a precise explanation.

According to the Pelagis observatory, which specializes in marine mammals, this is the second beluga known in France after a fisherman from the Loire estuary had brought one up in his nets in 1948. In 1966, another individual had went up the Rhine to Germany and in 2018, a beluga was observed in the Thames estuary in England, recalls Pelagis.

“These cases of wandering remain unusual and unexplained, with likely multiple reasons including health status, age (subadults disperse more easily), social isolation, environmental conditions, etc.”continues the observatory.

In May, an orca 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 starvation.

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