Beluga Whale Spotted Frolicking In The Thames

ANALYSISSeptember 26 2018 9:32am The Times Underwater noise may have sent beluga whale off course Ben Webster Oceans Correspondent

A beluga in the Thames, actually.

A beluga whale was spotted in the River Thames outside the British capital on Tuesday, officials said.

This story began Tuesday, when ecologist and ornithologist Dave Andrews captured rare footage of a beluga whale swimming in the Thames.

The unusual sighting happened in the Gravesend area about 50 kilometres east of London.

Posting the shocking clip on Twitter, he said: 'Can't believe I'm writing this, no joke - beluga in the Thames off Coalhouse Fort.

They are a social species, so to see one by itself in the River Thames is "concerning", he said.

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"Nobody tell my boss i'm now watching a live feed of a river", tweeted one distracted worker. "Winning!" a Kent local tweeted.

Conservationists are waiting to see if a "very lost" beluga whale in the River Thames has headed back out to sea. We could just do more harm than good.

It appears to have moved a few miles further west since yesterday.

Danny Groves, from Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) said: "This is a High Arctic species thousands of miles from where it should be in Greenland, Svalbard or the Barents Sea, they are usually associated close to the ice. They are rarely seen in United Kingdom waters", said Sarah Dolman, a senior policy officer with Whale and Dolphin Conservation.

"We're hoping if we give it enough space and keep an eye on it, it will find its own way out of the Thames to an environment that's more appropriate for it. And boats in the water crowding the whale could cause it a great level of distress".

However rescue teams were on standby in case the animal got into danger.

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