Beluga whale surfaces in River Thames in Britain

Carlton Robbins
September 26, 2018

Can you spot it?

Rod Downie, polar chief adviser at WWF, said: "Beluga whales are a species of the icy Arctic - finding one in the tepid Thames is an astonishingly rare event".

Dave Andrews, a consultant ecologist, posted a video on Twitter at noon on 25 September, saying, 'Can't believe I'm writing this, no joke - beluga in the Thames off Coalhouse Fort.

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

The last reported sighting of a beluga in United Kingdom waters was in 2015, when two were spotted off the northeast coast of England and one in Northern Ireland.

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

Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society spokesman Danny Groves said as the whales were high Arctic species, "this one is thousands of miles from where it should be".

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We would encourage people to look from the land if the whale is still close to the coast.

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

The RSPCA animal welfare group said that it's "working with other agencies to monitor the situation" and sent researchers to the scene.

The sight of a beluga whale so far south - 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometres) from even Iceland - is exceptional. They are known for their bulbous forehead, known as a "melon", which allows them to make various facial expressions due to its flexibility.

The beluga's appearance brings back memories of the famous 2006 Thames whale. They can move between salt and fresh water.

Belugas, which can grow up to 5.5 metres (18 feet) long, spend most of their time off the coasts of Alaska, Canada and Russian Federation, though they often travel great distances in search of food.

This sea creature made a whale of a trip.

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