Beluga in the Seine: what do we know about the ongoing rescue operation?

On May 30, the orca that had been lost in the Seine for several days, died. To prevent such an event from happening again with the lost beluga, a rescue operation is underway. But what do we know concretely about this device and the animal’s health status? Explanation.

Why is the beluga lost in the Seine?

Why are more and more cetaceans getting lost in the Seine? While it is not uncommon for some individuals to explore other places on their own, it is much less common for them to get lost in a river.

For oceanographers, this disturbing phenomenon could be associated with the evolution of the position of earth magnetic poles (cetaceans use their magnetic perception to orient themselves) and changes in ocean currents that are affected by global warming. But that’s not all, the noise disturbance also has its share of responsibility, because cetaceans move with their sonars. Moreover, in the case of the male beluga, it is this third track that is preferred by Sea Sherperd, the NGO for the defense of the oceans.

What is the rescue operation?

In an effort to save the beluga lost in the Seine, vets sent him to the lock of Saint-Pierre-la-Garenne, northwest of Paris. This Wednesday, August 10, around 4 a.m., rescuers managed to get the cetaceans weighing more than 800 kg out of the water. He was lifted in a just pulled by a crane and put on a boat. Blood tests and ultrasounds were performed to check his health.

Early in the morning, the truck carrying it took the road to Ouistreham, in Calvados, 160 kilometers from Saint-Pierre-la-Garenne. It’s there, in a seawater lock, that he will be released (provided his condition improves).

Photo: Sea Shepherd France

Is the beluga out of danger?

For now, be health condition is considered “alarming” by veterinarians. And rightly so, the animal refuses to eat and loses weight as a result. However, he does not have an infectious disease and the results of the blood tests and ultrasounds are reassuring.

Photo: Sea Shepherd France

On arrival in Ouistreham, the male beluga stays in the seawater lock for several days to check that he is out of danger. If all goes well, he will be released and finally free…

Leave a Comment