Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Whale in the UK's River Thames

Andrew Wong | 26 September, 2018, 20:09

According to the UK-based Whale and Dolphin Conservation group, there have been just 20 sightings of beluga whales off the United Kingdom coast before today's incident.

A beluga whale has been spotted in the River Thames, shocking onlookers.

The animal welfare group says it is ready to provide help to the whale if asked to do so by other agencies.

However rescue teams were on standby in case the animal, which is normally found thousands of miles away in the Arctic, gets into danger.

By Tuesday lunchtime, photographers were lining the banks of the Thames, as were locals and others, and the BBC had launched its own live-stream of the creature, with some folks giving themselves the afternoon off work just to watch it.

The sight of a beluga whale so far south - 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometres) from even Iceland - is exceptional.

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society said it was "obviously very lost and quite possibly in trouble".

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The RSPCA said it was aware of reports of a whale in the Thames. "There have been just 20 sightings of beluga whales off the United Kingdom coast previously, but these have occurred off Northumberland, Northern Ireland and Scotland".

He urged people to give the whale "space and minimise disturbance".

In 2006, a northern bottle-nosed whale died after stranding itself in the Thames.

"The white body colour, absence of a prominent dorsal fin, bulbous forehead and general swimming motion all suggest this very strongly", he said. They can move between salt and fresh water.

This sea creature made a whale of a trip.

Belugas are able to produce sounds such as chirps, clicks, whistles and squeals, giving them the nickname "the canary of the sea".

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