France: The beluga whale that appeared in the Seine is being monitored with drones


It remains unknown why this particular whale drifted so far from its natural habitat

French authorities and scientists are trying to assess the health status of a spotted beluga whale on the Seine, before they plan how they will attempt to drive her back to sea.

Since the beluga was spotted in the river on Wednesday, crews have been continuously monitoring its movements with the help of drones. However, the whale is still in almost the same spot, according to Isabelle Dorillat-Pouget, a spokeswoman for the department of Herre in Normandy.

Drone footage shows the beluga occasionally surfacing and lazily swimming.

It remains unknown why this particular whale strayed so far from its natural habitat – it is commonly found in Arctic and sub-Arctic waters, as well as the Gulf of St. Lawrence, in Quebec, Canada – and arrived now dozens of kilometers away from the mouth of the Seine.

“The challenge now is to help her search for food and try to escort her to the ocean,” said Lamia Esemlali, head of environmental group Sea Shepherd France. He emphasized, however, that the possibility of taking her out of the water is out of the question, as such a thing would be very risky.

The local fire service, which has undertaken the task of monitoring the whale, said the priority is to assess the health of the whale before any intervention is considered.

In September 2018, a beluga whale was spotted in the River Thames near Gravesend, England. However, he managed to return to the sea after three months, according to the BBC.

At the end of last May, a seriously ill orca had become separated from its herd and swam dozens of kilometers away from the Seine estuary. Attempts to get it back to sea failed and the whale died of natural causes.

A month later, a 10-meter long minke whale was also spotted in the Seine.


You May Also Like

Recommended for you