Tue, 16 Aug 2022

A Beluga whale, a protected species usually found in cold Arctic waters, has been seen in France's Seine river, with authorities urging people to keep their distance to avoid distressing the animal.

Officials in the Eure department of Normandy said late on Wednesday that images suggested it was a beluga separated from its pod, though they did not specify its size nor where exactly the creature was seen.

An adult beluga can reach up to four metres in length and, while they migrate away from the Arctic in the autumn to feed as ice forms, they rarely venture so far south.

"Investigations of its health are underway to determine the best measures to take to ensure its chances of survival," the Eure regional authorities said.

Bullet found lodged in skull of orca who died in France's Seine River

In May, a killer whale was found dead in the Seine between the port city of Le Havre and Rouen.

The animal had been stranded in the river, which flows through Paris to the Channel, and was unable to find its way back to the ocean despite attempts by officials to guide it.

The Eure authorities said lone belugas do sometimes swim farther south than usual, and are able to temporarily survive in fresh water.

Originally published on RFI

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