September 24, 2022

PARIS (AP) – French authorities are tracking a Beluga whale that escaped far from its Arctic habitat in the Seine River, raising fears the ethereal white mammal could starve if it remains in the waterway that flows through Paris and beyond. from her.

Drone footage taken by French fire services shows the whale meandering gently in a stretch of pale green river waters between Paris and the Normandy city of Rouen, several dozen kilometers (miles) inland from the sea.

“It is a very impressive animal, which is white (and) which looks calm. It doesn’t look stressed, it surfaces regularly,” fire service officer Patrick Hérot, from the Eure region of Normandy, told French TV channel TF1.

Marine conservation group Sea Shepherd France said it was trying to help the whale, sending drones and a boat to locate it. He said the whale is likely to need food and help to get it back to its natural habitat in the ocean.

“It is doomed to die if it stays in the Seine,” Lamya Essemlali, the group’s president, told TF1.

Belugas’ pale skin and bulbous foreheads make them easily recognizable. Also known for their sociability, they usually live, hunt and migrate together in pods.

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