Fears over 'very lost' beluga whale in River Thames

Katie Ramirez
September 26, 2018

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

Whales are rarely seen in the Thames, and the sighting has sparked conerns for the beluga's health.

Beluga whales are usually found in the Arctic Ocean, with males measuring as long as 5.5 metres and can also weigh up to 1,600kg.

Mr Groves said it was not the first time a beluga has been spotted in United Kingdom waters in recent years.

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

Danny Groves, from WDC said: "This is a High Arctic species thousands of miles from where it should be in Greenland, Svalbard or the Barents Sea, they are usually associated close to the ice".

"We do have quite a lot of plastic bags, which could be quite an issue", she said.

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

Officials say they're monitoring the situation from afar too.

In 2006 a northern bottlenose whale shocked Londoners as it swam up the River Thames as rescuers tried in vain to save it.

This sea creature made a whale of a trip.

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".

Beluga calls variously resemble a cork being prized from a bottle or a creaking door, along with sounds described as clicks, squeaks, chirps, bleats, moans, groans, and whistles.

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