- The orca has been swimming in the Seine for weeks.
- With the help of whale sounds, the helpers are now trying to guide the lost animal towards the sea.
A group of scientists, police and firefighters, among others, began the operation at the weekend near the northern French coast, the Rouen-based prefecture in charge announced.
It was not initially clear whether the campaign would be successful. “It’s experimental,” said Charlotte Currie, a bioacoustics researcher. “We’re not at all sure that this will work, but it’s worth a try.”
Given the already weak animal, the authorities, after consulting experts, decided on the method of unusual noise. This avoids using a vessel at close range, which could increase the animal’s stress level.
Underwater whale sounds are played by a loudspeaker when used. The research teams then want to look from the boats a distance away to see how the orca reacts to the sounds – whether they are attracted to them or reluctant. Why the animal appeared in the Seine is unclear.
Spotted in early April
According to the Marine Mammal Research Group (GEEC), the whale was first seen in early April by the crew of a fishing vessel about 30 kilometers off the coast of Normandy. Clear video recordings. There is no doubt that it is an orca. Since then, orcas have been repeatedly spotted along the coast, in the mouth of the Seine and even 60 kilometers upstream in the Seine near Yainville.
A GEEC expert explained that orcas are most common off the coasts of Scotland, Iceland and Norway, and further south in the Atlantic Ocean in the Bay of Biscay. The county said that instead of moving toward the sea, orcas continue to swim back and forth. The animal is very weak and has little chance of survival.
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