Friday, 16 November, 2018

A Beluga whale has been spotted in the Thames in Kent

The whale spotted surfacing throughout late morning and early afternoon The whale spotted surfacing throughout late morning and early afternoon
Doris Mccormick | 28 September, 2018, 21:27

He tweeted: "The docks on the Thames by Gravesend aren't really the backdrop where you'd imagine seeing your first Beluga but today I saw just that".

The beluga was first sighted on Tuesday near the southern, Kent side of the river, downstream of Gravesend.

Rescue teams are on standby in case the whale gets into danger.

"Beluga whales inhabit cold, arctic waters off Greenland, Svalbard and in the Barents Sea", the group said in a statement.

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

Conservationists said they hoped its instincts would soon kick in, and it would head out of the estuary and back north.

Beluga whales were last spotted in the United Kingdom three years ago off the coast of Northumberland and Northern Ireland, but sightings were "extremely rare", spokeswoman Julia Cable said.

People from as far as North London and Hertfordshire gathered on the foreshore close to Shorne in Kent to see the white whale
People from as far as North London and Hertfordshire gathered on the foreshore close to Shorne in Kent to see the white whale

Throughout the day, Andrews continued to share whale updates and additional video footage, much to the delight of those following the story on social media.

Among the theories of how the whale ended up in the Thames is that it followed a shoal of fish into the waterway.

"They are rarely seen in United Kingdom waters", said Sarah Dolman, a senior policy officer with Whale and Dolphin Conservation.

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

RSPCA spokeswoman Clare Dew said: "We don't have any concerns about the whale itself at the moment, and it is certainly still behaving normally".

Tanya Ferry, environment manager at the Port of London Authority, said it was unclear what the whale could eat.

Beluga Whales usually live in the Arctic.

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