Scientists have determined that they will euthanize a sick killer whale in France after efforts to rescue him failed. Since May 16th, a 13-foot-long orca has been seen in the River Siena. After miles of swimming between harbors, the whale ended west of Rouen. Scientists and marine specialists gathered to form a plan and try to get the orca whale back to the ocean.
Whale of a Noise
Scientists decided to use a drone to move the killer whale back into the ocean. The drone would play an orca voice recording. They hoped that this would attract the whale and have him follow the distressed call. Instead, the plan backfired, and the whale reacted erratically during Saturday’s rescue efforts. After some time with no results, the team gave up.
After reviewing the rescue effort photos and data, scientists concluded that the whale was sick. They determined that the whale was suffering from a black fungus called mucormycosis. This fungus slowly spreads from the skin to the heart, lungs, and brain. This is probably why the whale reacted poorly to the drone’s whale noise. His brain must have been affected already.
While the rescue efforts by Sea Shepherd NGO and everyone else involved was a failure, the whale will no longer suffer. Euthanizing it is a humane way of treating the whale and ending his suffering. This will also give scientists some time to examine the sick killer whale and study the effect of black fungus on it. This disease has been seen on whales in North America but never observed in Europe. The sick killer whale can help them understand the effects of the disease and perhaps help them help the next whale. Let’s hope that in the future dolphins, whales, and other marine animal will not have to suffer from black fungus or other disease.