An orca that died in the Seine in France has starved to death after experts have examined it. The whale died because he had not eaten, his stomach was empty, the prefecture in Rouen said on Wednesday.
The reason for this cannot be determined with certainty, but the loneliness of the whale could have been the trigger. Occasionally this is observed in marine mammals, which usually live and hunt in groups.
The fact that the whale stayed in the river instead of in the sea played no role, according to the experts.
During the autopsy of the orca, the scientists found ammunition in the area of the tissue on the head. However, the bullet did not sustainably injure the whale or contribute to its death.
The orca could have been shot at weeks or months ago. The public prosecutor’s office in Rouen must now check whether an investigation is being carried out.
According to the investigation, the orca was an immature female over four meters long and weighing 1,100 kilos. The whale’s skeleton is set to be exhibited at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris.
The orca had been sighted in the Seine since the beginning of April and died at the end of May. Attempts to guide him towards the sea with the help of whale sounds failed.
Orcas are more commonly found off the coasts of Scotland, Iceland and Norway, and further south in the Atlantic Ocean in the Bay of Biscay.