By Victor Massias
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After a week of research, carefully scrutinizing the surface of the water, a member of the Gecc (Cotentin cetacean study group) finally succeeded in observing the killer whale moving in the Seine.
The animal had first been spotted under the Normandy bridge, then up to the Yainville ferry. Gérard Mauger, vice-president and founder of the Gecc, at the end of his binoculars, thanks to the reports he received, actually saw it.
Harder to survive alone
According to him, it is a male, since its dorsal fin is lying down. Despite everything, he says he is “worried because his state of health is deteriorating. His vital prognosis is not favourable. Yesterday (Monday), she had apneas of more than ten minutes, today (Tuesday) she stays much shorter under water. She is emaciated and has fungal infections. » Two weaknesses that can be explained.
First, if killer whales tolerate fresh water, they can’t stay there too long. So what could be causing these skin problems. Then, this cetacean is alone. “It presents a real difficulty because it hunts less well, therefore feeds less well and loses weight,” explains Gérard Mauger. Even if it is easier to hunt in shallow waters like the Seine, the specialist is not optimistic.
When the orcs are no longer in their group, they are almost doomed. It’s natural selection.
” It is not normal “
For Pelagis, the marine mammal and bird observatory, “This is not normal. The fact that she is alone raises many questions. It rarely happens in these animals. Especially since the region is very little frequented by this species. The orca might have isolated herself naturally from the rest of the group if she was sick.
Or else it could be excluded. “Orcas live in bands, in matriarchal groups, continues Gérard Mauger. One of them can find herself alone when she is rejected by the others. For example, if the matriarch dies, her descendants can be driven out when another takes her place. »
“We cannot intervene”
So what to do? For the moment, no active operation is envisaged. “We cannot intervene on an animal that is in water without risking stressing it,” says Pelagis. Indeed, cetaceans suffer from a high mortality rate due to stress. Attempting to approach the animal could therefore have consequences on its health.
The outcome seems precarious.
Feeding it also seems too complicated since killer whales only eat live fish. “There is not much to do, we are watching her, breathes Gérard Mauger. We hope that her survival instinct brings her back to the sea.”
In the meantime, it is strongly advised not to attempt to interact with this killer whale. The Gecc also prefers not to disclose the place where she was seen in order to avoid attracting the curious. All cetaceans are protected and intentional disturbance is punishable by law.
If you have information about this killer whale, contact the Gecc on 07 66 17 50 48.
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