Published: Tue, September 25, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

Beluga whale spotted swimming in the Thames

Beluga whale spotted swimming in the Thames

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

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

Dave Andrews, a consultant ecologist and ornithologist according to his Twitter profile, shared footage of the whale near Coalhouse Fort in Essex on Twitter.

The RSPCA says it is "sending an officer" to look further into the matter as videos circulate on social media.

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society said it was "obviously very lost and quite possibly in trouble".

He urged people to give the whale "space and minimise disturbance".

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

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

Photos posted on Twitter appeared to show a white whale in the water.

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

"The beluga is an Arctic/sub-Arctic species, so is a long way outside its usual range of distribution".

Belugas, also known as white whales, are known for having rounded foreheads and no dorsal fin.

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

Belugas are able to produce sounds such as chirps, clicks, whistles and squeals, giving them the nickname "the canary of the sea".

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