Seine: a beluga spotted in Normandy

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J. Ricco, B. Barnier, J. Weyl, D. Aysun – France 3

France Televisions

It is a rare phenomenon which takes place in the Seine, Thursday August 4th. A beluga was observed swimming in the river, an animal rather accustomed to paddling in the icy waters of the Arctic.

The scene is surprising, a beluga was filmed swimming in the Seine. This polar species is used to living in Arctic waters. Thursday August 4, the animal was seen near Saint-Pierre-de-la-Garenne (Eure), a city located 70 kilometers from the Parisian capital. “The goal is to see what state of health he is in, to see if he still has strength, if he behaves normally. The beluga is a gregarious animal”declares Isabelle Dorliat-Pouzet, general secretary of the Eure prefecture.

The presence of the animal is amazing because its place of life is the Arctic and the animal only subsists in cold waters in normal times. After swimming to the Normandy coast, the beluga then descended the Seine for more than 200 kilometres. “It’s extremely rare, the last data in France is 1948 in the Loire estuary. There was a previous case in the Thames, but here in the Seine, it’s a first”, reports Sophie Poncet, project manager at the French Office for Biodiversity. However, this species is able to adapt to warmer waters.

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