VIDEO: France to give vitamins to beluga whale stranded in the Seine river - GulfToday

VIDEO: France to give vitamins to beluga whale stranded in the Seine river

A beluga whale swims between two locks on the Seine river, in Notre-Dame-de-la-Garenne, northwestern France. AFP

Gulf Today Report

Concerns are growing over the fate of a beluga whale spotted in the Seine River in France, far from its natural habitat in Arctic waters, after it refused food and appeared emaciated, according to a local official.

The beluga swims slowly in a basin between two bays, about 80 kilometers from Paris.

Veterinarians will assess his health before deciding how to intervene.

Rescuers don't know if the four-metre-long mammal's reluctance to eat was caused by disease, or a loss of energy.

Rescuers tried to feed him live fish.

"He didn't seem to be very interested" in nutrition, said Isabelle Dorlet-Busier, the regional administration official for Eure.

The whale strayed far from its natural environment, travelling 160 km in the upper Seine, after the port of Rouen towards the French capital. And signs of his skin began to appear, indicating the possible deterioration of his health.

Beluga whales usually live in the polar and sub-polar oceans, but sometimes they wander south, and reach estuaries, where they can live temporarily in fresh water.

In late May, a sick whale died of natural causes, after being separated from his family, and travelled dozens of kilometres to the Seine River, after attempts to guide it back to the sea failed.

A month later another 10-metre long whale, believed to be a Minke, was spotted in the Seine, a busy waterway connecting Paris to the sea.