Published: Wed, September 26, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

Unusual sighting: Beluga whale spotted in River Thames outside London

Unusual sighting: Beluga whale spotted in River Thames outside London

Following the sighting, many on Twitter recalled the unfortunate 18ft (5m) northern Bottlenose whale which died in the River Thames in 2006.

Posting the shocking clip on Twitter, he said: 'Can't believe I'm writing this, no joke - beluga in the Thames off Coalhouse Fort.

And Sarah Dolman from the Whale and Dolphin Conservation tweeted: 'Probably not good that this beluga is in the Thames.

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

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Lucy Babey, head of science and conservation at ORCA, a United Kingdom charity that works with whales and dolphins, also urged caution.

"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.

The WDC's Danny Groves told the UK Press Association, "He or she is obviously very lost and quite possibly in trouble".

He urged people to give the whale "space and minimise disturbance". It said it was ready to provide help to the whale if asked to do so by other agencies.

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The RSPCA is investigating reports of the possible sighting, as videos and reports circulate on social media.

According to the National Geographic, beluga whales are smallish, ranging from 13 to 20 feet in length. They have a rounded forehead and no dorsal fin.

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

This sea creature made a whale of a trip.

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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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