Lifestyle Pets Beluga Whale Trapped in River Seine Euthanized During Rescue Due to Health Difficulties "The suffering being obvious for the animal, we decided that it was not appropriate to release it," veterinarian Ollivet-Courtois explained on Wednesday By Giovana Gelhoren Giovana Gelhoren Instagram Digital News Writer People Editorial Guidelines Published on August 10, 2022 02:05 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos Photo: JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty A beluga whale that strayed into the River Seine on Aug. 2 and became stuck in the French waterway died following efforts to save the animal. On its way to the arctic, the marine mammal went off route and got stuck in a freshwater lock at St.-Pierre-La-Garenne, approximately 45 miles west of Paris, on Aug. 2, CNN reported. After spotting the lost beluga, experts attempted to feed the animal but failed each time. On Tuesday night, rescue efforts to remove the whale from the river began. More than 20 divers and an overall team of 80 people gathered to save the over 1760-pound, 13-foot-long animal. On Wednesday morning, the whale was lifted from the water by a net and placed on a barge with veterinarians, who monitored the beluga's condition. Chicago's Shedd Aquarium Welcomes Four New Fuzzy Penguin Chicks The whale was then moved to a refrigerated truck to be taken to a saltwater port in Normandy over 90 miles away, the Associated Press reported. JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty During the whale's journey to the sea, the animal developed serious breathing difficulties. "The veterinarians noted a deterioration in its condition and its respiratory activities," said Florence Ollivet-Courtois, one of the veterinarians assisting with the rescue operation, in a video shared on Twitter by the French department of Calvados. "The animal was in anoxia and was not ventilating sufficiently." After assessing the animal's condition, the veterinarians decided to euthanize the beluga due to its poor quality of life. L.A. Zoo Mourns 'Inseparable' Lion Couple's Death: We're 'Touched by Their Loyal Companionship' "The suffering being obvious for the animal, we decided that it was not appropriate to release it and that it was necessary to proceed with its euthanasia," Ollivet-Courtois shared. JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Lamya Essemlali, president of Sea Shepherd France, told Reuters that the whale would not have survived much longer in the river water. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday. After the beluga's passing, the Sea Shepherd France also shared the news on Twitter. "It is with heavy hearts that we announce that the beluga did not survive the translocation which was risky, but essential to give an otherwise doomed animal a chance," the nonprofit announced. "We are devastated by this tragic outcome that we knew was very likely, but we thank all those who worked for this unprecedented mobilization: firefighters, caregivers, volunteers, supporters, and @isadorliat sub-prefect of Eure," Sea Shepherd France added.