Hopes of saving a malnourished beluga whale that has swum up the Seine river were receding on Sunday, but rescuers said they have ruled out “euthanasia” for now.
The whale was first spotted on Tuesday in the river that runs through Paris to the English Channel. Since Friday it has been between two locks some 70 kilometres (44 miles) north of the French capital.
But leaving it in the warm stagnant water between the lock gates is no longer an option.
“He has to be moved in the coming 24-48 hours, these conditions are not good for him,” Sea Shepherd France head Lamya Essemlali told AFP.
Specialists held out “little hope” for the visibly underweight whale, Essemlali said.
“We are all doubtful about its own ability to return to the sea,” she said. “Even if we ‘drove’ it with a boat, that would be extremely dangerous, if not impossible”.
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