'Beluga whale' spotted in River Thames near London

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

A rare beluga whale reported to be swimming in the Thames could be "in trouble", conservationists have warned.

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

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.

Mr Groves said it was not the first time a beluga has been spotted in United Kingdom waters in recent years.

Whale and Dolphin Conservation...

Belugas live in estuaries, continental shelves and slopes, and deep ocean basins in open water, loose ice, and heavy pack ice.

The RSPCA said it was aware of reports of a whale in the Thames.

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

Can you beluga it?

"In the summer of 2015 two were spotted off the Northumberland coast and one in Northern Ireland", he said.

In 2006, a northern bottle-nosed whale died after stranding itself in the Thames.

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

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". They have a rounded forehead and no dorsal fin. They can move between salt and fresh water.

They are common to many regions of Alaska, as well as Russia, Canada, and Greenland.

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