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Beluga whale trapped on Paris river sparks desperate bid to save the mammal

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beluga whale who has began trapped in a river. Normally found in the cold waters of the Arctic, the whale was first spotted swimming up the river from the English Channel on Tuesday (August 2).

The protected species headed upstream towards Paris, which the Seine flows through, before remaining at a lock 44 miles (70km) from the French capital. READ MORE: Rampaging killer whales sink boat with five people on board in terrifying attack Rescue services and biodiversity officials have been drawing up plans to rescue the animal amid concerns that if it does not return it could die in the "polluted" river.Fears have been mounting over the whale's condition, which has been observed drifting between two locks on the river, and barely moved yesterday (Thursday, August 4).

Observations have also indicated it appears to have "skin changes and to be underweight".Drone footage showed the whale swimming slowly, its white silhouette just below the waterline and coming up to breathe.Local authorities said firefighters and biodiversity officials have evaluated the 'worrying' health of the animal, and plans are being drawn up to get it back where it belongs.Gerard Mauger, deputy head of French Marine Mammal Research Group GEEC, said the mammal spent "very little time on the surface" and appeared to have "good" lung capacity, but said rescuers were struggling to guide the whale to the mouth of the Seine.Officials have not specified the size of this individual, but an adult beluga can reach up to four metres (13 feet) in length.Authorities in Normandy's Eure department urged people to keep their distance to avoid distressing the animal.Lamya Essemlali, head of the non-profit marine conservation organisation Sea Shepherd, said some of her.

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