A beluga whale stranded in the River Seine has been given a “vitamin cocktail” amid fears its health is rapidly declining.
The mammal, which is now between Paris and the city of Rouen in Normandy, was spotted on Wednesday after straying thousands of miles away from its home in the Arctic, and has refused food – a sign that it could be starving to death.
Lamya Essemlali, president of marine conservation group Sea Shepherd France, told a news conference this weekend: “It is really extremely thin. Its bones are protruding. I don’t know if it’s already too late”.
Police added it would be given a cocktail of vitamins to help bring it back to health by stimulating its appetite.
So far, the beluga has snubbed a catch of herring offered by Sea Shepherd France on Friday, as well as turning down live trout.
Experts have also seen some white spots on the mammal, raising further concerns about its health.
Writing on Twitter on Sunday afternoon, the group said that despite being offered the appetite stimulants, it has still not fed.
However, it added the whale is alert and is moving, meaning at this stage it would not be put down, and instead could potentially be moved back into the sea.
Beluga whales are recognisable for their pale skin and bulbous foreheads.
They are sociable animals which habitually live, hunt and migrate together in pods.
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