Another whale spotted in the Seine, one month after orca died in the river

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

Another whale was spotted in France’s Seine river close to the English Channel, local authorities said on Thursday. The animal is around 10 meters (33 feet) long and probably a minke whale.

Only a month ago, a sick whale died in the same river. “This is unprecedented”, Delphine Eloi, the head of the GECC marine animal research institute, told news agency Reuters.

GECC shared a picture of the animal in the freshwater area of the Normandy Bridge close to Le Havre on Facebook. It is the first time a minke whale has been spotted in the Seine.

Sailors first spotted the whale on Thursday, the office of the Seine-Maritime prefect said in a statement, adding that an emergency meeting with researchers was held to discuss footage of the animal.

The team confirmed the animal was most likely an adult minke whale and that it looked like he was in good physical condition.

Last month, a sick male killer whale was spotted upstream in the Seine, which had never been observed before. The animal died after an attempt to guide him back to the Channel failed.

“We need to absolutely make sure this won’t happen again”, Eloi said on Thursday, adding the whale was still relatively close to the sea.

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