A whale that has drifted into the French Seine will be disposed of after a failed plan to return it to the sea. Scientists concluded that the animal is seriously ill and suffers from excruciating pain.
The cetaceans, a 4m-high male, were seen at the mouth of the Seine on 16 May between the port of Le Havre and the Normandy town of Honfleur, before swimming tens of kilometers upstream to reach western Honfleur. Rawan.
During a meeting with local and international scientists, including marine mammal specialists, the local conservation on Saturday attempted to bring the orca back into the sea with a drone capable of emitting the animal’s familiar sound stimuli, but the animal responded “in an erratic and inconsistent manner.”
The whale’s voice recording recorded what looked like the animal’s distress calls, they said. “The attempt to return it to the sea failed and to avoid an increase in tension levels, a decision was made to stop the intervention,” the prefecture said.
Scientists reviewed photos and data from the surgery and concluded that the animal was suffering from mucosal fungus, or black fungus, a disease seen in whales in North America but not yet observed in Europe. After infecting the weakened skin of animals, the disease can spread to the heart, lungs, and brain, which explains the whale’s bewildering behavior. In the case of this orca, according to scientists, the disease seems to be in a very advanced state and may even cause his severe suffering.
“Under these circumstances, the group of experts unanimously concluded that the only possible solution was euthanasia of the animal to put an end to its suffering, as well as an advanced analysis of the disease it carries,” the county added.
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