The Lonely Visitor

Listen to Today's Edition
Voiced by Amazon Polly

France has become captivated by the plight of a solo beluga whale stranded in the Seine near Paris and which is refusing to eat, the Associated Press reported.

First appearing last week, the lost whale was seen “gently meandering” in a stretch of the river between Paris and the northern city of Rouen, dozens of miles from the sea.

Since then, veterinarians have given the whale vitamins and products to stimulate its appetite, while trying unsuccessfully to entice it with herring and trout.

Marine conservation groups and vets fear that if the dangerously thin whale continues to refuse food, it will die. They are also concerned because the whale, native to the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions, could be harmed by the warm, stagnant water between lock gates on the Seine.

On Wednesday, French rescuers and environmentalists lifted the whale from the river using a net and crane in the first stage of an ambitious rescue operation. Veterinarians attending the animal said that its condition was “satisfactory,” Agence France-Presse noted.

They added that the beluga will be moved to a saltwater lock, where they will monitor the marine creature for three days before releasing it.

Marine conservation group, Sea Shepherd France, cautioned that the “exceptional” operation is risky and stressful for the animal, which is 13 feet long and weighs nearly 1,800 pounds.

Conservationists are hoping to treat the whale and spare it the fate of an orca that strayed into the Seine and died in May.

Not already a subscriber?

If you would like to receive DailyChatter directly to your inbox each morning, subscribe below with a free two-week trial.

Subscribe today

Support journalism that’s independent, non-partisan, and fair.

If you are a student or faculty with a valid school email, you can sign up for a FREE student subscription or faculty subscription.

Questions? Write to us at

You don't have credit card details available. You will be redirected to update payment method page. Click OK to continue.

Copy link