White Beluga whale surfaces again in River Thames near London

ANALYSISSeptember 26 2018 9:32am The Times Underwater noise may have sent beluga whale off course Ben Webster Oceans Correspondent

ANALYSISSeptember 26 2018 9:32am The Times Underwater noise may have sent beluga whale off course Ben Webster Oceans Correspondent

Whale experts said a beluga may have ended up in the Thames after becoming disorientated and making a navigational error. "Winning!" a Kent local tweeted.

The whale that was spotted Tuesday was "obviously very lost and quite possibly in trouble", the Whale and Dolphin Conservation said.

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

The sight of a beluga whale so far south - 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometres) from even Iceland - is exceptional. Picture Fraser GrayPhotographers flocked to try and picture the rare Whale.

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They are considered "extremely sociable mammals" and live in pods.

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

"People love whales, and an opportunity to see such a handsome individual is rare", Dolman added when asked about the level of interest in the creature.

"We would urge that the whale is given space and disturbance is kept to a minimum. And boats in the water crowding the whale could cause it a great level of distress".

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

Ornithologist Dave Andrews, who first spotted the whale, said it was back in the same place on Wednesday. Within moments of the sighting, crowds gathered along London's Battersea Bridge to catch a glimpse of the whale.

"Hopefully instinct will soon kick in and the beluga will leave the estuary and go out into the North Sea and then head north where it should be", Mr Lott said. It died, after suffering from convulsions, near Gravesend as the barge rushed towards the open sea.

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