In Paris, France, a Beluga whale had been stranded in the Seine river. The beluga whale is an Arctic and sub-arctic cetacean. It is also an endangered species, with only about 279 of them left in the world.
Spotted on Tuesday in the warm river waters, Firefighters, military members, and police officers were brought in to help assist in the mission of bringing the beluga back into its saltwater home. A helicopter and a few drones were sent in above the water to track down the beluga. Officials then decided how they were going to transport the beluga to saltwater.
On Wednesday, the beluga whale had been reported stationary for three-four hours. To avoid making the beluga feel stressed out, the locals had been directed to stay out of proximity to the beluga. Many were quickly worried when the beluga was reportedly underweight and looked to be very skinny. Lamya Essemali said, “If we don’t feed him quickly it’s hopeless.” With this in mind, officials began to try and lure the whale back to the mouth of the river using fresh fish.
It was soon realized that driving the beluga back to its rightful location would be near impossible; the survival chances would be just too low. The whale was most likely from either Norway, Russia, or Canada, and it was decided that it would be best to fly it back to one of these places.
Beluga whales travel in pods, but when alone, they will sometimes venture farther south towards freshwater. The reason why the Beluga ended up in this specific river is unclear. This area’s polluted water and heavy river traffic gave the whale additional threats. Since the whale was so far from home, it was dehydrated, hungry, and did not have the correct amount of heat.
The whale was successfully lifted out of the river, but the whale was struggling to breathe and the best decision for the whale was to be euthanized. Despite the best efforts of the rescue operation, there was no way to save the beluga. The death of the Beluga was announced publicly later on.