On Aug 2nd a beluga whale strayed into the River Seine and got stuck in the French waterway and despite efforts to save the animal it died.
The marine mammal got stuck in a freshwater lock at St.-Pierre-La-Garenne, about 45 miles west of Paris, on its way to the Arctic, according to CNN.
After discovering the missing beluga, experts attempted to feed it several times but failed each time.
Rescue efforts to remove the whale from the river began on Tuesday night. More than 20 divers and an 80-person team gathered to save the 1760-pound, 13-foot-long animal.
The whale was lifted from the water with a net on Wednesday morning and placed on a barge with veterinarians who were monitoring its condition.
The whale was then transferred to a refrigerated truck and driven over 90 miles to a saltwater port in Normandy, according to the Associated Press.
During the whale’s journey to the sea, the animal experienced severe breathing difficulties.
“The veterinarians noted a deterioration in its condition and its respiratory activities,” said Florence Ollivet-Courtois, one of the veterinarians assisting with the rescue operation, in a video shared on Twitter by the French department of Calvados. “The animal was in anoxia and was not ventilating sufficiently.”
The veterinarians decided to euthanize the beluga due to its poor quality of life after assessing its condition.
“The suffering being obvious for the animal, we decided that it was not appropriate to release it and that it was necessary to proceed with its euthanasia,” Ollivet-Courtois shared.
The whale would not have survived much longer in the river water, according to Lamya Essemlali, president of Sea Shepherd France.
After the beluga’s passing, the Sea Shepherd France also shared the news on Twitter.
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce that the beluga did not survive the translocation which was risky, but essential to give an otherwise doomed animal a chance,” the nonprofit announced.
“We are devastated by this tragic outcome that we knew was very likely, but we thank all those who worked for this unprecedented mobilization: firefighters, caregivers, volunteers, supporters, and @isadorliat sub-prefect of Eure,” Sea Shepherd France added.
Watch the video: