At the beginning of April, fishermen sighted a lost orca in the English Channel. It is later discovered 60 kilometers upstream in the French Seine. The weakened animal should now be lured back into the sea with whale sounds. Experts warn that his chances of survival alone are poor.
A stray orca in the Seine is said to be attracted by the sound of whales and guided towards the sea. A drone is to monitor the process, said the responsible prefecture of Seine-Maritime, based in Rouen, after consultations with experts. The noise method avoids a close-range operation with a ship, which could add to the stress level of the weakened whale.
The animal, which lives near the northern French coast, always swims back and forth and not towards the sea. After the orca initially appeared to be in good health, experts from the Marine Mammals Research Group (GEEC) now consider it emaciated and see signs of fungal infestation. All alone, the animal's chances of survival are poor.
According to the GEEC, the whale was first sighted in early April by the crew of a trawler about 30 kilometers off the Normandy coast. Since then, the orca has been spotted time and time again along the coast, in the Seine estuary and even some 60 kilometers upstream in the Seine near Yainville. Orcas are more commonly found off the coasts of Scotland, Iceland and Norway, and further south in the Atlantic Ocean in the Bay of Biscay, a GEEC expert explained. The video recordings made from the fishing boat are clear. There is no doubt that it is an orca.
There is speculation that the whale strayed into the English Channel because it is ill and can feed more easily in the calmer waters there. It may also be a young animal that has left its group and is now isolated.