Efforts to feed a dangerously thin whale that has strayed into the Seine River in France have failed so far and experts are trying to get the animal out of the river lock where it is stuck, environmentalists said.
Marine conservation group Sea Shepherd France tweeted on Monday that “feeding attempts are continuing in parallel to finding a solution to get it out of the lock in the best conditions”.
Experts at the site have warned that the beluga whale should not stay too long in the warm, stagnant water between lock gates.
“The beluga still doesn’t eat but continues to show curiosity,” Sea Shepherd France tweeted.
Overnight the whale “rubbed itself on the lock’s wall and got rid of patches that had appeared on its back. Antibiotics may also have helped”.
The lost whale was first seen in the river, far from its Arctic habitat, earlier this week.
Drone footage shot by French fire services showed it gently meandering in a stretch of the river’s light green waters between Paris and the Normandy city of Rouen, dozens of miles inland from the sea.
Experts have tried since Friday to feed the whale with dead herrings and live trout, with no success.
Sea Shepherd fears the whale could slowly starve in the waterway and die.
Local authorities said vets have given the whale vitamins and products to stimulate its appetite, as well as some medical treatment.