Fears Grow For ‘Very Lost’ Beluga Whale Still In The Thames

Gwen Vasquez
September 28, 2018

Coalhouse Fort is in Essex, located in East Tilbury and east of Gravesend.

The beluga was first sighted on Tuesday near the southern, Kent side of the river, downstream of Gravesend.

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

"It shouldn't be in these waters and we hope it heads back to the Arctic, but its behaviour is not a massive concern", they said.

"They are rarely seen in United Kingdom waters", said Sarah Dolman, a senior policy officer with Whale and Dolphin Conservation.

Throughout the day, Andrews continued to share whale updates and additional video footage, much to the delight of those following the story on social media.

A spokeswoman from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue told Sky News that whale rescue boats are ready to re-float the whale if necessary.

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He shared videos online, saying it hasn't moved more than 200m in any direction.

The last sighting in United Kingdom waters was in 2015 when they were spotted off northeastern England near the Northumberland coastline, but they left shortly afterwards.

In a statement on its website, ORCA's Head of Science & Conservation, Lucy Babey, said: "It's an incredibly unusual sighting, with the most recent record of belugas around the United Kingdom being in Northumberland in 2015".

Ferry also said the whale appears lost and could be in serious danger. "Belugas are friendly, sociable and live in family groups".

He urged people to give the whale "space and minimise disturbance".

The Thames remains a busy waterway and the whale is now between two major container docks, Tilbury and the new London Gateway port.

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