ANALYSISSeptember 26 2018 9:32am The Times Underwater noise may have sent beluga whale off course Ben Webster Oceans Correspondent
26 September, 2018, 14:59
Whale experts said that videos filmed today near Gravesend in Kent appeared to show a beluga, distinctive for its white body, which may have taken a wrong turn after entering the North Sea.
Following the sighting, many on Twitter recalled the unfortunate 18ft (5m) northern Bottlenose whale which died in the River Thames in 2006.
It is not clear why the whale, usually found in the Arctic, came to be in the River Thames but rescue teams are on standby in case it gets into danger.
Lucy Babey, head of science at Orca, a marine conservation charity, said: "This is the most southerly recording of a beluga in the UK".
"If they are eating things like jellyfish, we don't tend to have a great deal of jellyfish in the Thames, but we do have quite a lot of plastic bags, which could be quite an issue", she said, BBC News reported.
Beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) normally live in Arctic and sub-Arctic waters, so any beluga in the Thames would be a long way from home.
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