PARIS (AP) — Efforts to feed a dangerously thin beluga whale that strayed into France’s Seine River have so far failed, and experts are now trying to free the whale from the river lock where it is stuck, environmentalists said Monday.
Marine conservation group Sea Shepherd France tweeted on Monday that “feeding efforts are continuing in parallel with finding a solution to get it out of the lock under the best possible conditions.”
Experts at the site caution that belugas should not remain in the warm, still water within the lock gates for too long.
“Beluga still not eating but curious,” tweeted Sea Shepherd France. Overnight the whale “rubbed himself against the lock wall and got rid of the patches that appeared on his back. Antibiotics also helped.”
Last week, the missing beluga was first spotted in a river in France, far from its Arctic habitat. Drone footage from the French fire service showed the whale in a stretch of light green water in the river between Paris and the Normandy city of Rouen, dozens of kilometers (miles) inland from the sea.
Since Friday, experts have tried feeding the belugas with dead herring and live trout, with no success. Sea Shepherd fears the whale could slowly starve to death in the waterway.
Local authorities said veterinarians gave vitamins and products to boost the whale’s appetite, as well as some medical treatment.