While his euthanasia was being considered, to put an end to his suffering, the killer whale that had been operating for several days in the Seine died. His body was discovered on Monday, May 30, 2022. An autopsy will be performed.
On the banks of the Seine, the magic of a killer whale in the fresh water of the river is over. After four days of reflection, attempts to bring the animal back to the sea, observation of its very poor health condition and the decision to kill it soon, the marine mammal finally got the last word. The SeaShepherdFrance teams discovered her dead on Monday, May 30, in the middle of the morning. She had left the sea to go up the Seine four days ago, which aroused admiration among spectators, but also concern among specialists as to her survival in an environment that is absolutely not suitable for orcas.
It was primarily the non-governmental maritime organization that announced this death on social networks. “The killer whale died naturally and drifted; she descended to La Mailleraye and rose with the current when the association arrived at her remains around noon. 10:45 near La Piette. (…) Unfortunately we found the body of the killer whale this morning at 11:48. We are currently with her to prevent her body from being hit by a ship, which would compromise the autopsy. We are waiting for the team that the state has mobilized to get it back. »
Video: rescue operation for the killer whale on the Seine
In the middle of the day, the announcement from the Seine-Maritime prefecture confirmed this discovery: “This Monday morning, May 30, following an observation made by a sailor and passed on by the Haropa captain in the port of Rouen, the investigations carried out enabled the boats from Sea Shepherd France to locate the animal on the surface, and then to confirm his death. “ It was actually a Norwegian ship that noticed the body floating on its side. The animal had several skin ulcers.
This put an end to the beginning of a controversy on social networks about whether it is advisable to kill the animal. However, the administration guaranteed that the rest of the operation, which was decided the day before, Sunday 29 May, would be carefully continued: “A towing operation of the body will thus be carried out to continue its repatriation on the banks of the Seine, where lifting equipment will be in place so that expert veterinarians and biologists can perform an autopsy and sampling operations, with the aim of collecting as much information as possible and try to determine the causes of this killer whale’s migration and death. “
As it has been making sure to indicate since this weekend, the prefecture confirms that neither it nor the partners in this operation will communicate during the towing. She also asks not to indicate the location of the animal’s body. These precautions did not prevent Internet users from locating the place where the body operated, nor did they prevent criticism of the way this file was handled.
A scientist condemns the poor management of the file
900 kilometers from Normandy, near Toulouse, cetologist Éric Demay can not see the damage of a situation which, in his opinion, has never been managed properly, even though he insists that he has no direct connection to the file and that it expresses only a personal point of view. “In this case, the administration went too slowly in the beginning, and then went too fast afterwards. It should have been urged to find the open sea as soon as it entered the estuary. Mycosis in a not very clean river like the Seine, it had to happen! », He decides. And to continue: “In Australia, for example, we would not have done it that way. We know wild animals better than in France. The man always wants to interact. We will kill him when it is useless. I’m on the field, so I believe in that. » The scientist, founder and president of the Dolphy Observatory from 1992 to 1995, for the observation and protection of the female dolphin Dolphy, and for the Tursiops group goes on to say: “Personally, even if it is not well seen by certain circles, I would have called the sea areas to have their opinion in relation to care. They know the problems of mycoses and infections related to fresh water. That’s the truth, and you do not necessarily have to keep up with everything. » Another annoyance, the announced recovery of the body: “We should let nature take its course, normally the dead killer whale would be eaten by other animals. The autopsy will be useless. We will always make the same sketch! It’s human fault, it’s global warming … Orcas are at the end of the food chain. They are filled with heavy metals and have pathologies, they also suffer from old age. We just have to hope that this story will be useful, that it will allow us to respond better next time. »