The rescue operation failed.

And the outcome is sad.

The killer whale spotted in the Seine between Rouen and Le Havre (Seine-Maritime) will have to be euthanized to end its suffering.


The expert working group concluded "unanimously" that this was "the only possible solution", the prefecture said last night in a statement posted on Twitter:

Press release relating to the monitoring of the orca 🐳 weakened observed in the Seine ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/cpFMmCiAGO

– Prefect of Normandy and Seine-Maritime (@Prefet76) May 29, 2022


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While trying on Saturday to help the animal find its way back to the sea, its natural environment, the specialists noted "an absence of liveliness, inconsistent reactions to sound stimuli and erratic and disoriented behavior".

The cetacean, in distress, multiplied the "returns from one side to the other of the bank".

The orca would suffer from "mucormycosis" and emit "cries of distress"


There would be nothing more to do.

The animal presents “deep ulcerations and dermatitis, revealing necrotic lesions”.

The killer whale would suffer from “mucormycosis”, an emerging disease observed on marine mammals.

“It is a condition […] likely to affect immunocompromised animals” and the disease would have reached “a very advanced stage, to the point that it would cause significant suffering to the animal”.

"The sound recordings revealed vocalizations similar to cries of distress", indicate the authorities.

If "the risk of transmission from animals to humans is very limited", the prefecture nevertheless recalls that "the area in which the killer whale is found is prohibited for swimming, fishing and that the areas of water catchments are not fed or impacted by the Seine".

Voices rise, wondering if everything has been implemented before arriving at this epilogue

The orca was first sighted on May 16 between Honfleur and Le Havre, near the Normandy bridge.

The animal had probably arrived "already weakened" towards the Seine estuary.

But it seems for the moment impossible to determine if the animal contracted this disease before or after its arrival in the river.

However, it is likely that its condition deteriorated on contact with fresh water.

Voices have been rising since yesterday, wondering if everything has been done well before arriving at this epilogue.

The president of Sea Shepherd France particularly regrets that her NGO was not included early enough in the rescue operation.

Last Thursday, learning that her state of health was deteriorating, we offered to mobilize our boats and our teams to try to bring her back to the sea as a matter of urgency;

alas, it is apparently too late.

Lessons will be learned from this sad story.

— Sea Shepherd France (@SeaShepherdFran) May 29, 2022


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For some specialists, including Eric Demay, cetologist quoted by

Le Parisien

, it would have been necessary to feed the animal to "perk it up".

Because if the chances of survival were very slim from the start, “small miracles” can happen.

This will not be the case.

Planet

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  • Planet

  • orca

  • Seine Maritime

  • Prefecture

  • Euthanasia

  • Rouen

  • The haven

  • Normandy

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