WILDLIFE

Beluga whale rescued from Seine River euthanized in transit

Aug 10, 2022, 4:44 PM | Updated: 4:47 pm
Beluga whale France...
A beluga whale that was rescued after being stuck in France's Seine River for more than a week died while in transit to the sea, officials have confirmed. (Benoit Tessier /Reuters via CNN)
(Benoit Tessier /Reuters via CNN)
Originally Published: 10 AUG 22 05:45 ET
Updated: 10 AUG 22 06:48 ET

(CNN) — A beluga whale that was rescued after being stuck in France’s Seine River for more than a week died while in transit to the sea, officials have confirmed.

The cetacean had been stuck in the freshwater lock at St.-Pierre-La-Garenne, some 45 miles northwest of Paris, since August 2. Its health deteriorated after it refused food, according to wildlife protection associations monitoring the situation.

It took more than 80 rescue workers six hours to extract the animal from the lock, Reuters reported, after which it was placed on a barge, where it underwent medical checks.

However, scientists had been concerned about the animal’s “alarming” weight loss and had to euthanize it soon afterward. Its death was confirmed by officials from the Essonne Department Fire and Rescue Service in a video message.

“During the trip, the veterinarians noted a deterioration in its condition, particularly in its respiratory activity, and we were able to see that the animal was in anoxia — ie, insufficiently ventilated — so this animal was obviously suffering and we decided that it was pointless to release it and so we had to proceed with its euthanasia,” said Florence Ollivet-Courtois, veterinarian at the fire and rescue service.

Vets had earlier hoped the whale could be transported to the Normandy region and ultimately released into the sea.

According to Reuters, it weighed around 800 kilograms (1,764 pounds) but should have been about 1,200 kilograms (2,646 pounds).

The beluga’s natural habitat is in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. Although the best-known population is found in the St. Lawrence estuary in Quebec, Canada, the closest to the French coast is in Svalbard, an archipelago in northern Norway, some 1,900 miles from the Seine.

No one knows how the beluga lost its way, but sea ice loss in Arctic waters is opening the area up to more shipping, fishing and other human activities, affecting the whales’ ability to communicate and navigate, according to WWF. Finding food and searching for mates is becoming much more difficult for the species, as well.

In recent years, many species of marine mammals have been reported in France, far from their primary habitat. Possible reasons could include health status, age, social isolation and environmental conditions, among others, according to France’s Pelagis Observatory, which specializes in the study of sea mammals.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories

Wildlife

DWR law enforcement truck pictured. The Utah DWR will use drones to help with wildlife management...
Britt Johnson and Elizabeth Weiler

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources launches new drone law enforcement team

Utah has created its new drone law enforcement team, designed to get a better look at wildlife crimes like poaching and trespassing. 
7 days ago
Family of beavers released in Carters Creek...
Aubri Wuthrich

Beavers rescued and released in Uintas to rebuild Carter Creek

A family of beavers was relocated with the hope that they will repopulate a formerly thriving beaver habitat.
13 days ago
parking lot...
Chris Jacobs

Dog attacks girl in Macey’s parking lot

A teenage Macy's employee was attacked by a dog in the parking lot. A bystander stepped in a shot the dog.
15 days ago
fish unwanted utah...
Simone Seikaly

Don’t dump unwanted fish into ponds, streams or lakes say Utah officials

unwanted fish left in ponds and lakes can prey on and outcompete native species, including endangered fish. And they can introduce disease.
20 days ago
Deer creek algae...
Alejandro Lucero

Professor receives $3 million grant to study algae blooms

The research of harmful algae blooms will take place at Utah Lake, Zion National Park and areas near the California-Nevada border
22 days ago
Image of sun spider, which some in southern Utah may be confusing for scorpions. (Canva)...
Alejandro Lucero

They’re sun spiders not scorpions says local expert

Sun spiders have ten legs, whereas the scorpion has eight. Still, a Utah expert isn't surprised about the confusion.
23 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Beluga whale rescued from Seine River euthanized in transit