'Beluga whale' spotted in River Thames near London

26 September, 2018, 20:11 | Author: Emilio Conner
  • Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption The whale was thought to be feeding in the area

'For anyone twitching the beluga, it's been feeding around the barges for the last hour and hasn't moved more than 200 metres in either direction.

Among the theories of how the beluga whale ended up in the Thames is that it followed a shoal of fish into the waterway.

Rescue teams are on standby in case the whale, which usually lives in the Arctic, gets into danger.

The beluga whale attracted a plenty of attention Tuesday when it surfaced in the River Thames.

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

The Beluga poked its head out of the water on multiple occasions.

Beluga whales can grow up to 20ft in length and are usually at home in the icy waters around Greenland, Svalbard or the Barents Sea. "There have only been around 20 sightings of beluga whales off the United Kingdom coast previously, but these have occurred off Northumberland, Northern Ireland and Scotland".

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Richard Sabin, principal curator of mammals at the Natural History Museum, said photos and videos he had seen appeared to show a beluga whale.

The WDC's Danny Groves told the UK Press Association, "He or she is obviously very lost and quite possibly in trouble".

It says it is ready to provide help to the whale if asked to do so by other agencies.

We would encourage people to look from the land if the whale is still close to the coast.

In 2006, a whale died after it swam up the river into central London despite efforts to rescue the animal.

"The white body colour, absence of a prominent dorsal fin, bulbous forehead and general swimming motion all suggest this very strongly", he said.

Belugas, which can grow up to 5.5 metres (18 feet) long, spend most of their time off the coasts of Alaska, Canada and Russian Federation, though they often travel great distances in search of food.

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