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France: Rescuers try to rescue a captive beluga whale near Paris

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Rescue workers say a beluga stuck in the Seine is dangerously underweight.

The lost whale was first spotted near Paris earlier this week, many miles from its natural habitat in the Atlantic.

Drone footage shows the whale swimming down the river between the French capital and Rouen, many dozens of miles inland.

Environmentalists have been working since Friday to feed the mammal with a herring catch.

Authorities in the l’Eure region said in a statement Friday night the whale had “flight behavior towards the boats” and had not responded to attempts to lead it to safer waters.

The people trying to help him are keeping a low profile to avoid “stress that could worsen his health,” the statement said.

“It’s quite an impressive animal that’s white and appears calm. It doesn’t seem stressed and turns up regularly,” firefighter officer Patrick Herot, from the Eure region of Normandy, told French broadcaster TF1.

If rescuers cannot rescue the whale soon, it is expected to slowly starve and die.

epa10107469 French firefighters, divers from the Nautical Brigade, prepare to patrol in search of a lost beluga whale sighted on the banks of the Seine in Saint Pierre la Garenne, Normandy region, France, 05 August 2022. EPO/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON

French firefighters and divers from the Nautical Brigade helped (Image: EPA)

A beluga whale swims up the Seine near a lock in Courcelles-sur-Seine, western France, August 5, 2022. The protected species, usually found in cold Arctic waters, had worked its way up the waterway and reached a lock about 70 kilometers (44 miles) from Paris. The whale was first sighted in the river that flows through the French capital into the English Channel on August 2, 2022, and follows the rare appearance of a killer whale in the Seine just over two months ago. (Photo by Jean-François MONIER / AFP) (Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images)

The beluga whale was seen swimming down the river (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

This aerial photo, taken by a drone operated by environmental organization Sea Shepherd, shows a beluga whale in the River Seine in the Saint-Pierre-la-Garenne region, west of Paris, Friday August 5, 2022. French authorities are tracking him A beluga whale that has strayed far from its arctic habitat into the Seine, raising fears that the ethereal white mammal could starve to death if it remains in the waterway that flows through Paris and beyond. French environmentalists are hoping to feed a catch of herring to a worryingly thin beluga whale that has strayed far from its arctic habitat into the Seine. (Sea Shepherd via AP)

Drone footage has tracked his movements (Image: AP)

epa10107470 French firefighters, divers from the Nautical Brigade, prepare to patrol in search of a lost beluga whale sighted on the banks of the Seine in Saint Pierre la Garenne, Normandy region, France, 05 August 2022. EPO/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON

The lost beluga could starve if it doesn’t return to its habitat soon (Image: EPA)

French firefighters on rubber boats pursue a beluga whale on the Seine river in Saint-Pierre-la-Garenne, west of Paris, Friday August 5, 2022. French authorities are pursuing a beluga whale that has strayed far from its arctic habitat in the Its what raises fears that the ethereal white mammal could starve to death if left in the waterway that flows through Paris and beyond. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Rescuers tried feeding it a catch of herring (Credits: AP)

“It is sentenced to death if left in the Seine,” Lamya Essemli, the group’s president, told TF1.

Beluga whales are known for their distinctive pale skin and bulbous forehead.

They are known for their sociability as they live in groups, hunt and migrate together.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/08/06/france-rescuers-trying-to-save-trapped-beluga-whale-near-paris-17138940/ France: Rescuers try to rescue a captive beluga whale near Paris

Justin Scacco

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