Beluga whale stranded in the River Thames

Beluga whale stranded in the River Thames

A rare beluga whale reported to be swimming in the Thames could be "in trouble", conservationists have warned.

Concerns were growing Wednesday for a beluga whale spotted in the River Thames estuary outside London, thousands of kilometres (miles) from the cherished white species' natural home in Arctic waters.

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

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

Benny the Beluga, as it has now been named, appears to have moved a few miles further west since yesterday.

Beluga whales, which are easily identifiable by their white markings, usually inhabit the cold Arctic waters off Greenland, Svalbard and the Barents Sea.

A whale is filmed swimming in the River Thames.

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

"The Thames beluga is back feeding in its favoured spot around the barges on the Kent side", he said urging all boats to "keep clear and let it alone".

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

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

In 2006 an 18ft (5m) northern bottle-nosed whale died after becoming stranded in the Thames. They are known for their bulbous forehead, known as a "melon", which allows them to make various facial expressions due to its flexibility.

This sea creature made a whale of a trip.

Related Articles