Saturday, 20 October, 2018


Experts keep watch on beluga whale spotted off Gravesend

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
Kristine Garrett | 26 September, 2018, 11:39

A beluga whale has reportedly been spotted in the River Thames.

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

Dave Andrews, an ecologist and ornithologist, posted a video on Twitter saying: "Can't believe I'm writing this, no joke - BELUGA in the Thames off Coalhouse Fort".

Speaking on Tuesday afternoon, he said that it had "roughly stayed in the same spot for about an hour".

Coalhouse Fort is in Essex, located in East Tilbury and east of Gravesend.

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

"We do have quite a lot of plastic bags, which could be quite an issue", she said.

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

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

Spokesperson, Julia Cable, warned the public not to get close to the creature, but rather "to watch it from the shore".

"We are working with other agencies to monitor the situation and ready to provide appropriate assistance if requested". They are social and generally live together in small groups known as pods.

In 2006, an 18ft (5m) northern bottle-nosed whale died after becoming stranded in the Thames.

Mr Groves said it was not the first time a beluga has been spotted in United Kingdom waters in recent years. "There have only been around 20 sightings of beluga whales off the United Kingdom coast previously, but these have occurred off Northumberland, Northern Ireland and Scotland".

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