To everyone’s surprise, an orca is currently wandering in the Seine. The animal was spotted by five tugboats from Le Havre a week ago, near the Normandy bridge. The scene was even filmed.
The presence of this killer whale has been observed to Barneville-sur-Seine, in the Eure, 20km from Rouen. The Cotentin cetacean study group (GECC) is currently on an observation mission. “The animal measures around four meters. As it is a male, it remains a fairly small individual so possibly a young one“, explains the director of the GECC, Delphine Eloi. “We know that he is in poor health. We also see that its dorsal fin is completely curved. It can also reflect the fact that it does not go deep enough.
This event is very rare. It is not common to see killer whales along the French coast and even less so in Normandy. One then wonders how this can be possible. “If it’s a young individual, he could have been kicked out of his group at the death of the matriarch”, supposes Delphine Eloi. “The young males leave after the group and wander until they find a new group. Some remain solitary. They are very social animals so it’s not easy for them to live alone“.
No danger for swimmers
Another reason could explain its presence in Normandy, hunting. The killer whale feeds on fish and marine mammals. According to the GECC, the animal could come from populations in the North Atlantic. We still lack photos to know more. At present, the orca is found between Le Havre and Rouen.
If you meet him, “don’t panic”, reassures the study group. “An orca has never attacked people in the wild. The animal is still in poor health so it is important not to disturb it and try to keep its distance.