Officials will use orca sounds to guide a lost killer whale back to sea

Orca with bended fin, animal news
An orca swims in the River Seine at Duclair in Normandy, after straying into the river from the sea and swimming from Le Havre to Rouen, France, May 26, 2022, credit: Reuters/Pascal Rossignol

French officials announced on Friday that they would use orca sounds to guide a killer whale, lost in the river Seine for almost two weeks, back to the sea.

The animal can’t find his way back to sea and is in terrible health. If he doesn’t return to sea, he will die.

Scientists and marine mammal specialists will monitor the killer whale from a distance with a drone while ejecting orca noises in an attempt to guide the killer whale back to the sea.

The male orca was first spotted at the mouth of the Seine on May 16 between the port of Le Havre and the town of Honfleur in Normandy. He then travelled upstream to reach west of the city of Rouen.

French media showed footage of the killer whale in the river, his dorsal fin sticking out of the water, and his distinctive black and white colors showing as it comes up for air.

“His dorsal fin is bent which is a sign of bad health for orcas. He has lost a lot of weight. It looks like this animal is in a bad condition,” Nicolas Ampen of the French Office for Biodiversity in Normandy said on TF1 television.

In May 2021, a grey whale got lost in the Mediterranean, far away from his natural habitat in the Pacific Ocean. He swam along the French coast for days before biologists lost his trace. The last time they saw him, he was in extremely bad health.

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