‘We are sad to announce the death of the cetacean,’ say local officials
A beluga whale stranded in France’s River Seine has died, despite a mission earlier on Wednesday to save it and release it back into the sea, according to local authorities.
“Despite an unprecedented rescue operation for the beluga, we are sad to announce the death of the cetacean,” the prefect of the Calvados department, op Twitter gesê.
The sad announcement came just hours after rescuers attempted to transfer the animal to a saltwater basin in Normandy in a desperate attempt to save its life.
A delicate operation to remove the whale from the river using a net and a crane, which took almost six hours, was completed earlier on Wednesday.
It was then placed on a barge placed under the care of up to a dozen veterinarians. The whale, usually found in cold Arctic waters, was then expected to be placed in a refrigerated truck before being transported to the northern French coast town of Ouistreham for a “period of care”.
Daar, authorities were planning to keep the animal in a temporary saltwater home for up to three days of surveillance and treatment before then releasing it into the sea.
The lost beluga was first spotted in the Seine last week.