A marine animal thought to be a beluga, a protected cetacean normally found in cold waters, was spotted in the Seine on Tuesday, Ayr prefecture said on Wednesday.
According to a study of the first images, “the animal will be the beluga,” a “protected cetacean species commonly found in arctic, subarctic waters and at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec,” the prefecture said in a press release. release, without indicating in which sector of the Seine the animal was seen, nor the size of the individual.
In adulthood, the beluga has a length of about 4 m.
The identification work was carried out jointly by the services of the French Biodiversity Authority and the Department for the Protection of Populations.
“It is currently undergoing a health assessment to take appropriate action to optimize its chances of survival,” the press release adds, elaborating that “individuals do occasionally wander in more southerly waters” that may “temporarily survive in fresh water.” water.”
The prefecture asks the population not to move around the territory and not try to approach the beluga, so as not to “stress the animal during the information gathering phase.”
She emphasizes that government services “are mobilized to protect wildlife and continue to constantly monitor the population.”
At the beginning of June, a killer whale was observed in the Seine, between Rouen and Le Havre. The animal was eventually found dead, and an autopsy confirmed death from starvation.