Conservationists warn beluga reported in Thames could be ‘in trouble’

Conservationists warn beluga reported in Thames could be ‘in trouble’

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

British officials are checking out reports that a beluga whale is swimming in the River Thames.

"Can't believe I'm writing this, no joke - BELUGA in the Thames off Coalhouse Fort", he tweeted.

A beluga whale has been spotted in the Thames, between Gravesend in Kent and Tilbury in Essex.

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society said it was "obviously very lost and quite possibly in trouble".

Lucy Babey, head of science and conservation at ORCA, a United Kingdom charity that works with whales and dolphins, also urged caution.

In 2006, a northern bottle-nosed whale up to 18ft-long (5m) became stranded in the Thames for two days.

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

The animal welfare group says it is ready to provide help to the whale if asked to do so by other agencies.

Richard Sabin, principal curator of mammals at the Natural History Museum, said photos and videos he had seen appeared to show a beluga whale. They have a rounded forehead and no dorsal fin.

Known as the "canary of the sea" due to their chirps, clicks and whistles, beluga whales can range from 13 ft to 20 ft in length and have distinctive round foreheads, known as "melons".

Ranging from 13ft to 20ft in length, they are common in the Arctic Ocean's coastal waters - but migrate southwards in large herds when the sea freezes over.

Belugas are able to produce sounds such as chirps, clicks, whistles and squeals, giving them the nickname "the canary of the sea".

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