Beluga whale spotted in River Thames outside London

Pablo Tucker
September 28, 2018

The beluga whale spotted in the Thames for a second day in a row is "swimming strongly and feeding normally", the RSPCA has said.

A Beluga whale was last spotted in the United Kingdom in 2015 off the coast of Northumberland, and sightings are said to be "extremely rare".

"Can't believe I'm writing this, no joke - BELUGA in the Thames off Coalhouse Fort", ecologist Dave Andrews wrote.

The creature is thousands of miles from its normal Arctic habitat, which makes this an "extremely unusual sighting", said Hoit.

"We are working with other agencies to monitor the situation and ready to provide appropriate assistance if requested".


Sarah Dolman of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation also warned the public to stay away from the whale, tweeting: "Probably not good that this beluga is in the Thames".

The previous reported sighting of a beluga in United Kingdom waters was in 2015, when two were spotted off the northeast coast of England and one in Northern Ireland.

"They are rarely seen in United Kingdom waters", said Sarah Dolman, a senior policy officer with Whale and Dolphin Conservation. It was spotted feeding near a number of barges.

The animal welfare group RSPCA said Wednesday the whale is "able to move fast in the water and dive".

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


"Please give the whale space!"

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

A whale is filmed swimming in the River Thames.

According to National Geographic magazine, beluga whales can range from 13 to 20 feet in length.

Belugas are commonly found in coastal waters of the Arctic Ocean, but are also at home in large rivers.


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