The tragic journey of the female killer whale will end at the museum. After several weeks stuck in the Seine, her body was found in the river. The first results of the autopsy, shared by the prefecture, revealed that the marine mammal was sick and had not fed for several weeks before arriving in the Seine.
After these samples were taken, his remains were recovered by the National Museum of Natural History in the capital, which announced this Tuesday in a press release. “The recovered skeleton will be degreased, cleaned, inventoried (each bone will be numbered) and finally packaged”, indicates the Museum.
A “rare and precious opportunity” for the institution, which holds one of the three largest naturalist collections in the world. 67 million animals, plants and minerals are kept within its walls. Until now, visitors could discover – almost in flesh and blood – Siam, the impressive Asian elephant, Li Li the giant panda or even the gigantic blue whale (also called blue whale).
This new cetacean skeleton, passed by the Seine, will also allow scientists to continue their research activities. An extremely rare possibility. The objective: “to increase ever more our knowledge of biodiversity and thus better protect it”.
Controversy over the intervention of the authorities
The story of this killer whale is not trivial. Seen for the first time on May 16 between Honfleur and Le Havre, the animal was first taken for a male. He had aroused the curiosity of onlookers on his way, as evidenced by the many videos posted on social networks.
After an unsuccessful attempt by the authorities to accompany the cetacean to the sea, it drifted for several weeks in the Seine. Weakened and disoriented, the orca had to be euthanized by teams from the Seine-Maritime prefecture. The body of the killer whale was finally found by the Sea Shepherd France association before the operation. An autopsy was carried out in order to understand the reasons for the disorientation of this mammal accustomed to the seabed.
VIDEO. The orca in difficulty in the Seine, found dead
The death of this killer whale has sparked controversy, with some specialists and associations deeming the intervention of the authorities too late. Accusations described as “false” by the prefecture in a press release. She specifies in particular that “any invasive intervention” would have been “totally unthinkable and likely to create more damage to this already weakened orca”.