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Experts are concerned for an ‘extremely thin’ beluga whale that is stranded in the River Seine in France.
The whale, which is stuck between Paris and Rouen, has now been given numerous vitamins in an attempt to encourage it to eat and keep it alive.
It was first spotted on Wednesday (3 August), thousands of miles away from its usual home.
Animal experts from Sea Shepherd France are concerned that the white spots on its body and its refusal to eat are signs it is starving to death.
Over the weekend, in an attempt to save the whale, conservationists gave it a cocktail of vitamins.
A translated post from the Sea Shepherd France reads: “The animal is still not feeding itself despite the appetite stimulants used by vets. Although very thin, he is alert and energetic. So euthanasia is ruled out at this point and a repatriation to sea is under consideration.”
Despite conservationists best efforts, Lamya Essemlali, president of Sea Shepherd France, says it could already be too late for the animal.
She said: “It is really extremely thin. Its bones are protruding. I don’t know if it’s already too late.”
Gerard Mauger, of the GECC marine conservation society, said on Friday: “It seems very skittish… it rises to the surface only briefly, followed by long dives.”
Experts say the whale has repeatedly refused to eat fish handed to it by would-be rescuers.
In a post on Twitter Sea Shepherd France on Friday (5 August) wrote: “Beluga in the Seine: we have started the feeding attempt. For the moment, the beluga is not interested in the fish offered to it. We remain hopeful that he agrees to feed.”
A follow-up read: “Our teams took turns with the beluga all night long. He always ignores the fish offered to him. We will take stock of the situation with the State services during the day.”
Drones are being used to keep a track on the whale.
Beluga whales usually live in Arctic and sub-Arctic oceans, but can stray into southern waters.
It is not clear why this particular beluga travelled so far from its natural habitat.