vitamins will be administered to the cetacean

published on Saturday, August 06, 2022 at 4:41 p.m.

Vitamins will be administered to the beluga which is in the Seine about 70 km from Paris so that it regains its appetite when it no longer eats, the Eure prefecture announced on Saturday.

“The vitamins are administered by a veterinarian with the usual means, arrowing (…). There is no reason to be impressed by this technique”, declared Isabelle Dorliat-Pouzet, secretary general of the prefecture of Eure, during a press briefing on Saturday near the lock of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garenne.

The beluga, a four-meter cetacean whose presence in the Seine is exceptional, still continued not to eat on Saturday, while it has been in a lock measuring approximately 125 m by 25 m since Friday. .

“He is a fairly emaciated individual and seems to have feeding difficulties,” said Ms. Dorliat-Pouzet. Attempts to feed it, with dead herring and then live trout, apparently did not succeed.

Among the hypotheses to prevent the cetacean from perishing, present the reopening “of the lock towards the sea, 160 km away, so that it can resume its journey” or keep it in the basin “so that it can regain strength. ‘appetite’.

Asked about the possibility of extracting it from the basin, Ms. Dorliat-Pouzet replied that this was not the preferred hypothesis because the specialists are not certain “that the beluga is strong enough to withstand this manipulation”.

Any decision will be taken “in the interest of the animal” and “no decision has yet been taken” while analyzes are awaited, resumed the secretary general of the prefecture.

Another element, “small spots” appeared which can be natural due to the fresh water but which can also mean “other difficulties”, according to the same source.

The beluga, which was “very calm” on Saturday and “quietly” going back and forth in the basin, was spotted on August 2 in the Seine.

In May, an orca found itself in difficulty in the Seine between Rouen and Le Havre. The operations to try to save the cetacean had failed and the animal had finally died of starvation.

According to Ms. Dorliat-Pouzet, the situation between the orca and the beluga is “very different”. The orca “was more weakened than the beluga” and “had disappeared from the radar for a while”. They are “two different animals, the killer whale is less tolerant of fresh water than the beluga,” she explained.

According to the Pelagis observatory, which specializes in marine mammals, this is the second beluga known in France after a fisherman from the Loire estuary brought one up in his nets in 1948. The beluga is a protected species from cetacean usually living in cold waters.

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