We are moving towards a sad outcome. Five days after being discovered in the Seine, the beluga, which usually lives in cold waters, was still not feeding on Sunday and showing signs of illness, leaving “little hope” for a happy outcome.
Asked about the chances of saving the animal, Lamya Essemlali, head of Sea Shepherd, the ocean defense NGO present on the scene, confided that the experts and the authorities were faced with ” a challenge”, where there is “little hope”, evoking “a race against time”.
Since Friday evening, the beluga, a cetacean of four meters spotted Tuesday in the Seine and whose presence in this river is exceptional, is in a lock of a dimension of approximately 125 m by 25 m 70 km to the northwest Paris.
Several attempts to feed him have been unsuccessful: herring, trout and even squid… On Saturday, the veterinarians, “given the physiological state of the baby luga”, had given him “vitamins and products likely to whet his appetite”, the Eure prefecture said in a press release on Sunday morning.
If the beluga adopts “a calm behavior” in this basin of the lock of the Garenne where he entered by himself, “he is very thin and has skin changes due to his presence in fresh water”, notes the prefecture.
The pessimistic specialists
If the products administered have not “opened his appetite”, he is a little “more dynamic” in the water, noted Isabelle Dorliat-Pouzet, sub-prefect of Evreux during a press briefing, emphasizing that belugas could be “very resistant”.
According to Sea Shepherd, this lack of nutrition is not not new. “His lack of appetite is surely a symptom of something else, an origin that we do not know, a disease. He is undernourished and it is several weeks, even several months. At sea, he no longer ate,” explained Lamya Essemlali. he suffers the same fate as an orca found in the same river in May was increasing. Operations to try to save the cetacean had failed and the animal had finally died of starvation.
However, the option of euthanizing the beluga was “discarded for the moment”, a indicated Lamya Essemlali, because “at this stage it would be premature because he still has vigor, a curious behavior: he turns his head, he reacts to stimuli, he is not amorphous and moribund”.