A malnourished beluga whale that swam the Seine in France is making no progress but is still alive, environmental organization Sea Shepherd said Monday.
Hopes are fading to save the animal, which was first spotted on Tuesday in the river that flows through Paris to the English Channel.
“He’s alert but not eating,” said Lamya Essemlali, President of Sea Shepherd France, in a text message to AFP.
However, there was “no deterioration in the condition,” she said.
The whale has been between two locks about 70 kilometers north of the French capital since Friday.
Rescue workers are considering a last-ditch effort to retrieve the animal from the Seine, as the river’s warm water is damaging its health.
An alternative would be to open the locks in hopes of the beluga swimming towards the English Channel, authorities said.
Opening the locks would risk the whale migrating further upstream towards Paris, which would be even more devastating.
Several attempts to feed the whale have failed in recent days.
On Saturday, veterinarians administered “vitamins and products to stimulate appetite,” said a statement on Sunday from the department of Eure police in Normandy, which is overseeing the rescue effort.
Belugas are typically found only in cold arctic waters, and although they migrate south in the fall to forage as ice molds, they rarely venture that far.
An adult can grow up to four meters long.
According to the French Pelagis Observatory, which specializes in marine mammals, the closest beluga population is off the Svalbard archipelago north of Norway, 3,000 kilometers from the Seine.
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