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Rescuers move whale stranded in French river to salt water

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The Associated Press

Associated Press

Thomas Adamson

In this image, taken Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022 by environmental group Sea Shepherd, shows a Beluga whale in the Seine river in Notre Dame de la Garenne, west of Paris. French environmentalists said Monday efforts to feed a dangerously thin Beluga whale that has strayed into the Seine River have failed so far. Experts are now seeking ways to get the animal out of the river lock where it is now stuck. (Sea Shepherd via AP)
This image was taken on Saturday. , August 6, 2022, by the environmental group Sea Shepherd, shows a beluga whale in the river Seine, Notre-Dame-de-la-Garenne, west of Paris. A French environmental group said on Monday that attempts to feed dangerously lean beluga whales that have strayed into the Seine have so far failed. I'm looking for a way to get the animals out of the locks on the river where I'm stuck. (AP via Sea Shepherd) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

PARIS (AP) — French environmentalists are dangerously thin Try to move the beluga whale. Strayed into the Seine last week and went to the saltwater river basin on Tuesday to try and save his life.

and is brought there for a "treatment period" by a doctor who is racing against time. Ramya Esemurali, President of Sea Shepherd France, said:

If the whales respond to treatment, they may eventually be released into the open ocean.

It was not immediately clear how environmentalists could relocate whales to river basins, but French media said barges and trucks could be used.

Conservationists hoped the whale could escape the fate of another killer whale who strayed into the Seine and died in May.

Marine conservation groups have described plans to move beluga whales, first spotted last week in the Seine, worryingly far from their Arctic habitat as a "major operation."

The migration "has a risk factor because it is stressful" for the animals, but they cannot survive very long in the freshwater of the Seine, the group said.

Rescuers were expected to wait until late afternoon before moving the creature, which weighed 800 kilograms (nearly one ton), due to intense heat in France's Eure region, and French media reported , said it may be transported by barge. Keep cool by covering with a damp towel.

Authorities suspect the whale is ill. Yet they are hopeful that they might survive after reacting to a mixture of antibiotics and vitamins over the past few days and visibly "scrubbing the walls of the floodgates and removing the spots that appeared on their backs." .

Essemlali says that medical surveillance in saltwater river basins is a way to see if mammals are "suffering from something we can help with, or if they're suffering from an incurable disease."

Drone footage taken by the French fire brigade last week showed whales in the pale green waters of a river between Paris and the Normandy city of Rouen. is shown to meander slowly to Sea.

Since Friday, conservationists have tried unsuccessfully to feed the whales with fish. Sea Shepherds fear that whales are slowly starving in the waterways.

Authorities in the Eure region said in a statement Friday night that the beluga whales were exhibiting "fleeing behavior towards boats" and were not responding to attempts to steer them into safer waters. Stated.

Those trying to help the whales have historically tried to keep a low profile to "avoid stress that could worsen the health of the whales," according to the statement.

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