Friday, 16 November, 2018

Whale in the UK's River Thames

Beluga whale spotted in the Thames - London shock at rare sighting Beluga Whale is spotted in the River Thames leaving Londoners stunned
Frank Williams | 26 September, 2018, 11:36

However rescue teams were on standby in case the animal got into danger.

The last sighting of a Beluga whale was some three years ago, off the coast of Northumberland, in northern England.

Beluga whales, which are easily identifiable by their white markings, usually inhabit the cold Arctic waters off Greenland, Svalbard and the Barents Sea.

The whale that was spotted Tuesday was "obviously very lost and quite possibly in trouble", the Whale and Dolphin Conservation said.

Tanya Ferry, environment manager at the Port of London Authority, said it was unclear what the whale could eat.

"We would urge that the whale is given space and disturbance is kept to a minimum".

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"We certainly don't want people trying to rescue it".

After British Divers Marine Life Rescue were alerted, they confirmed the sighting, noting that the whale seemed to be "swimming strongly".

British officials are checking out reports that a beluga whale is swimming in the River Thames.

A spokesaperson said: "We are working with other agencies to monitor the situation and ready to provide appropriate assistance if requested". They are known for their bulbous forehead, known as a "melon", which allows them to make various facial expressions due to its flexibility.

Ranging from 13ft to 20ft in length, they are common in the Arctic Ocean's coastal waters - but migrate southwards in large herds when the sea freezes over.

In 2006, a northern bottle-nosed whale up to 18ft-long (5m) became stranded in the Thames for two days. Others expressed concern for the creature, while more still just made jokes.

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