Beluga whale makes waves as it swims up Thames near London

Beluga whale makes waves as it swims up Thames near London

Ecologist, Dave Andrews, was the first to spot the impressive creature, watching it as it ate around the barges near Gravesend, Kent.

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

There are occasional reports of belugas off the British coast, though very rarely this far south.

Following the sighting, many on Twitter recalled the unfortunate 18ft (5m) northern Bottlenose whale which died in the River Thames in 2006.

The WDC's Danny Groves told the UK Press Association, "He or she is obviously very lost and quite possibly in trouble".

A beluga whale breeches near a buoy on the River Thames near Gravesend east of London, Britain, September 25, 2018.

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"We would urge that the whale is given space and disturbance is kept to a minimum", he said.

TV news helicopters filmed the whale from the air as officials asked the public not to get too close to the animal.

After British Divers Marine Life Rescue were alerted, they confirmed the sighting, noting that the whale seemed to be "swimming strongly".

"As wonderful as a beluga whale in the River Thames is, it poses a potentially tragic fate for it".

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

The River Thames, one of the longest rivers in England, runs through several major cities and towns, including London, Oxford and Windsor.

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