Beluga whale in Thames eating, swimming well

26 September, 2018, 20:09 | Author: Sidney Guerrero
  • ANALYSISSeptember 26 2018 9:32am The Times Underwater noise may have sent beluga whale off course Ben Webster Oceans Correspondent

The British Divers Marine Life Rescue, which helps with rescues of stranded cetaceans and other marine animals, said they were sending their area coordinator down to the river to monitor the situation.

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation group said that beluga whales are identified by distinctive white markings and are typically found farther north.

Beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) normally live in Arctic and sub-Arctic waters, so any beluga in the Thames would be a long way from home. The last sighting of a Beluga whale was some three years ago, off the coast of Northumberland, in northern England.

Rescue teams are on standby in case the whale gets into danger.

"We wouldn't go anywhere near it in a boat".

As excitement around the beluga sighting peaked, many wondered just how the whale ended up in the Thames.

More news: Karl-Anthony Towns getting $190 million extension from Wolves

The rare marine mammal was first spotted near Gravesend, Kent, on Tuesday afternoon and appeared to be "swimming strongly" and feeding in the estuary. It was spotted feeding near a number of barges.

Whale experts said a beluga may have ended up in the Thames after becoming disorientated and making a navigational error. The whale's location is between two major container docks, Tilbury and the new London Gateway port.

Known as the "canary of the sea" due to their chirps, clicks and whistles, beluga whales can range from 13 ft to 20 ft in length and have distinctive round foreheads, known as "melons".

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

As day turns into evening here in Britain, many hope that the whale of 2018 will have a much happier ending.

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