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Easy French Practice

Seals in Biarritz

By Myriam on June 23, 2014
myriam

Witness the moving release into the wild of seven seal pups that had been rescued in Biarritz, and practice your French with this French English bilingual story.

1 – A particularly rough winter

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L’hiver 2013/2014 a Ă©tĂ© particuliĂšrement agitĂ© sur les cĂŽtes ouest de l’Europe.
D’énormes tempĂȘtes (Hercule, Ruth, Christine,
) ont provoquĂ© beaucoup de dommages sur les cĂŽtes. Les fortes vagues et les courants ont malmenĂ© les bĂ©bĂ©s phoques nĂ©s Ă  l’automne dans l’Atlantique Nord. EmportĂ©s par une houle exceptionnelle, ils ont dĂ©rivĂ© depuis l’Angleterre et l’Irlande pour s’échouer sur les rivages vers le sud.

Winter 2013/2014 was particularly agitated on the western coast of Europe.
Huge storms (Hercules, Ruth, Christine, …) caused a lot of damage on the coasts. Strong waves and currents maltreated seal pups born in autumn in the North Atlantic. Carried by exceptional waves, they drifted from England and Ireland and beached themselves on the southern shores.

2 – Seal pups washed up on the beach

Le premier bĂ©bĂ© phoque a Ă©tĂ© trouvĂ© sur la plage de Biarritz le 1er janvier. Signe du destin ? La veille, « Okera », la doyenne et mascotte des phoques du musĂ©e de la mer de Biarritz, s’était Ă©teinte Ă  l’ñge de 33 ans
 Douze phoques sont ainsi arrivĂ©s sur les plages du Pays-Basque et des Landes. Ce phĂ©nomĂšne est tout Ă  fait inhabituel.

The first seal pup was found on the beach in Biarritz on January 1. A sign of destiny? The day before, “Okera”, the dean and mascot for the seals of the “MusĂ©e de la Mer”, Sea Museum in Biarritz, died at the age of 33 … Twelve seals landed on the beaches of the Basque Country and the Landes. This is quite unusual.

Ils Ă©taient extĂ©nuĂ©s, affaiblis, amaigris, parfois blessĂ©s. Les pompiers, formĂ©s aux Ă©chouages, les ont amenĂ©s au MusĂ©e de la mer qui les a recueillis. Les soigneurs les ont pesĂ©s, sexĂ©s, soignĂ©s, alimentĂ©s. Les jeunes phoques ont Ă©tĂ© mis en quarantaine et n’ont pas Ă©tĂ© visibles par le public. Un seul est mort.

They were exhausted, weak, thin, sometimes injured. Firefighters, especially trained in animal beachings, took them to the Museum . Healers weighed them, determined their sex, cared for them and fed them. The seal pups were quarantined and were not visible to the public. Only one died.

Le 28 mars, le musĂ©e de la mer de Biarritz (et son partenaire le centre de soins « Alca-Torda ») a relĂąchĂ© 7 d’entre eux. Les 4 autres n’étant pas encore assez robustes ;  ils seront relĂąchĂ©s plus tard.

On March 28th, the museum in Biarritz (and its partner, the care center “Alca-Torda”) released seven of them. The other 4 not yet strong enough; will be released later.

3 – Freeing the seals: a moving scene

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Les pompiers et les Ă©quipes de soigneurs sont prĂ©sents. Ils ont choisi la plage de Biarritz-Milady en raison de ses courants et de sa configuration gĂ©ographique. L’heure et le jour ont aussi Ă©tĂ© soigneusement choisis : houle modĂ©rĂ©e, marĂ©e haute, bonne mĂ©tĂ©o. PesĂ©s et identifiĂ©s, les petits phoques sont placĂ©s dans des caisses individuelles. Sur la plage 300 personnes sont venues assister Ă  cet Ă©vĂ©nement local.

Firefighters and teams of trainers are present. They chose the beach of Biarritz Milady because of its currents and its geographical configuration. The time and date have also been carefully selected: moderate swell, high tide, favorable weather. Weighed and identified, the pups were then placed in individual boxes. On the beach, 300 people came to attend this local event.

Les 7 caisses sont posĂ©es Ă  quelques centimĂštres de l’eau, les vagues viennent les frĂŽler. On ouvre les caisses, les bĂ©bĂ©s sortent, d’abord un peu timides, puis plus rapidement. C’est le moment des photos souvenirs 
Un dernier regard
 Les soigneurs, fiers et Ă©mus, les regardent s’éloigner

On leur souhaite un bon retour dans leur milieu naturel !

The 7 boxes are placed a few inches from the water, the waves barely touching them. Boxes are opened, the small seals come out, first a little shy, then faster. It’s time for souvenir photos … One last look … Healers, proud and moved, watch them swim away … We wish them a safe return to their natural environment!

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DERNIERES NOUVELLES : Le 20 mai 2014 : 3 bĂ©bĂ©s phoques ont Ă©tĂ© relĂąchĂ©s dans les mĂȘmes conditions. Une femelle nommĂ©e « Izar »(Ă©toile en langue basque) sera adoptĂ©e dĂ©finitivement par le musĂ©e de la mer de Biarritz.

Parmi les 7 bĂ©bĂ©s relĂąchĂ©s, 2 sont malheureusement morts pris dans des filets de pĂȘche, 5 sont encore en vie et devraient trĂšs rapidement remonter vers le Nord de l’Atlantique.

LATEST NEWS: May 20 2014: 3 pups were released under the same conditions. A female named “Izar” (star in Basque), will be adopted by the Museum  of Biarritz.

Among the 7 seals released, 2 unfortunately died caught in fishing nets, 5 are still alive and should quickly make their way back to the North Atlantic.

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