Beluga whale spotted again in River Thames

A beluga whale could have swum into the river Thames

A beluga whale could have swum into the river Thames

"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", the scientist explained.

By Tuesday lunchtime, photographers were lining the banks of the Thames, as were locals and others, and the BBC had launched its own live-stream of the creature, with some folks giving themselves the afternoon off work just to watch it.

The British Divers Marine Life Rescue said the presence of the beluga is "concerning as it's not a common species, however it's swimming strongly and feeding", according to Sky News.

Danny Groves, from Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) said: "This is a High Arctic species thousands of miles from where it should be in Greenland, Svalbard or the Barents Sea, they are usually associated close to the ice".

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

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While the report of the animal prompted excitement on social media, conservationists warned that the beluga whale, normally found in the High Arctic, was lost and could be in trouble.

Another said: "Almost unbelievably, it would seem that there is now a beluga whale in the Thames".

Babey said it was unclear why this one had lost its way and come into the Thames, though it would be unlikely to have lost its way due to storms or because it was following prey.

The RSPCA animal welfare group said it was "working with other agencies to monitor the situation". "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".

In 2006 an 18ft (5m) northern bottle-nosed whale died after becoming stranded in the Thames. They have a rounded forehead and no dorsal fin.

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