PARIS — French environmentalists are working around the clock to try to feed a dangerously thin Beluga whale lost in the River Seine. So far they have not been successful.
Marine Conservation Group Sea Shepherd France tweeted on Saturday that “our teams have been taking turns with the Beluga all night. It always ignores the fish that is offered to it.”
The missing Beluga was first spotted earlier this week in the French River, far from its Arctic habitat. Drone footage subsequently captured by the French fire service shows the whale wriggling gently in a stretch of the river’s pale green waters between Paris and the Norman city of Rouen, many tens of miles inland from the sea.
Conservationists have been trying to feed a herring catch to the ethereal white mammal since Friday. Sea Shepherd calls it “a race against time” and fears the whale is slowly starving in the waterway and may die.
Authorities in the l’Eure region said in a statement Friday evening that the wild animal has a “fleeing behavior towards the boats” and has not responded to attempts to divert it to safer waters.
The people trying to help the whale are as unobtrusive as possible to “avoid stress that could worsen its health condition,” the statement said.