A few hours after being pulled from the water in a last-ditch rescue effort, a sick beluga whale that had wandered into the River Seine died on Wednesday while being attempted to be returned to the sea off northern France. The 13-foot beast was euthanized, according to the authorities, since it was having trouble breathing.
After swimming more than 100 kilometers up France’s river seine, the four-meter-long animal became stranded and spent more than a week there. To keep an eye on its health, it was transferred to a saltwater basin. Despite extensive preparation, the animal passed away en route to the French coast.
To extract the whale from the river, rescuers utilized a crane. It underwent a vet’s examination before being loaded into a cold truck for a road trip of more than 160 km (100 miles) to the channel port of Ouistreha. The whale was to be moved to a saltwater basin in an effort to give it time to strengthen before being moved to the sea.
A dozen vets immediately took over its care as it was transferred to a barge. Officials had warned of the animal’s poor health after its evacuation from the Seine, noting that the rescue attempt had been perilous for the beluga because the whale would not live in the warm, watery river environment. Sadly, despite an extraordinary rescue effort, he passed away while trying to get it back into the water.