Beluga whale spotted in River Thames outside London

26 September, 2018, 11:36 | Author: Dwayne Harmon
  • ANALYSISSeptember 26 2018 9:32am The Times Underwater noise may have sent beluga whale off course Ben Webster Oceans Correspondent

He's since posted two more videos of the whale, saying it hasn't moved more than 200m up or down the river.

Dave Andrews, an ecologist and ornithologist, said the beluga had been feeding around the barges.

Conservationists have spent the night keeping an eye on a beluga whale in the River Thames.

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

The marine mammal has a distinctively round, melon-shaped head and beluga whales can dive up to 2,300ft (700m) blow the surface.

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

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

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

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

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

Belugas, also known as white whales, are "one of the most familiar and easily distinguishable" of all whales, according to National Geographic. Though common in the Arctic Ocean's coastal waters, they are found in subarctic waters as well and migrate southward in large herds when the sea freezes over.

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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