PARIS (AP) — French environmentalists were working tirelessly to try to feed a dangerously emaciated beluga whale that entered the Seine River from the sea. So far they have not succeeded.
“Our teams took turns with the beluga all night. He always ignores the fish we offer him,” marine conservation group Sea Shepherd France tweeted on Saturday.
The lost cetacean was first seen days ago in the French River, far from its Arctic habitat. A video later recorded by a firefighting drone showed the beluga snake meandering through a stretch of pale green waters of the river between Paris and the Normandy city of Rouen, tens of kilometers from the sea.
Conservationists have been trying since Friday to feed the cetacean herring. Saying it is “a race against the clock,” Sea Shepherd fears the beluga is slowly weakening and could die.
Authorities in the l’Eure region said in a statement late Friday that the marine animal exhibits “an escape behavior from boats” and has not responded to attempts to guide it to safe waters.
People trying to help the beluga are being as inconspicuous as possible to “avoid stress that could aggravate its health,” the statement added.