A deadly whale stranded for weeks in France’s Seine River was found dead Monday after attempts to bring it back to sea failed and revealed it was critically ill, local authorities said.
Local authorities have already decided to kill the deadly whale – also known as an orca – to end the ordeal, but on Monday morning a sailor spotted the animal lying next to it.
Sea Shepherd France, who visited the animal and confirmed its death, said on Twitter that they were monitoring Orcar’s body to prevent it from hitting a ship, which would compromise the autopsy.
The investigation will try to establish why Orca was trapped and how he died, as well as gather information on his illness, local authorities said.
A team of experts this weekend tried to use the gold technique to help bring the animal back to its natural salt-water habitat, much to the surprise of visitors after its presence in the iconic French River flowing through Paris.
But the rescue operation “encountered a lack of caution, inconsistent response to noise stimuli and erratic and confusing behavior,” the regional authority said in a statement.
“The sound recordings also contained cries of anguish,” he said, adding that the animal appeared to be in “critical condition”.
“She had so many wounds on her skin … she must have been in pain. Pieces of skin were falling off, nothing could be done,” said Gerard Mager, vice-president of GECC, a Cherberg-based organization for the conservation of marine animals in the Channel.
When he was found dead, “everything was ready to euthanize him,” Mr Magar added.
The animal appears to be suffering from mycobacterium tuberculosis, a fungal infection that is increasingly seen in marine mammals and is causing them severe distress.
Killer whales, which, despite their names belonging to the dolphin family, are occasionally seen on the English Channel, but such scenes are considered rare, even in rivers.
Experts said that helping the animal in the river conserve energy also complicates the search for prey, especially for a species known for its prey in packets.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)