News World White Beluga whale surfaces again in River Thames near London

White Beluga whale surfaces again in River Thames near London

A beluga whale spotted in London’s River Thames surfaced again on Wednesday near the British capital, hundreds of miles from its normal Arctic habitat.

The white cetacean, which feeds on fish, squid and crabs, was first spotted on Tuesday and surfaced near Gravesend, Kent on the southern side of the estuary, television footage showed.

“We are surprised and a little saddened that it has resurfaced again – we had hoped it had gone out to deeper waters and gone out to where it should be,” said Lucy Babey, head of science and conservation at the ORCA charity.

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

Belugas, which can grow up to 5.5 metres (18 feet) long, spend most of their time off the coasts of Alaska, Canada and Russia, though they often travel great distances in search of food.

Babey said it was unclear why this one had lost its way and come into the Thames, though it would be unlikely to have lost its way due to storms or because it was following prey.

“The most likely scenario, which we are not going to know until we can investigate this animal more, is that there is an impairment to its navigation system,” Babey said.

“If that navigation system is impaired or there is a lot of disturbance to its environment, whether from natural causes or man-made noise, the animal will not be able to navigate correctly and can go off course.”

The whale spotted in the Thames was clearly a mature beluga whale, and possibly a female or a younger whale due to its size, Babey said.

“It is a beluga – I can confirm that,” she added.

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

Top Stories

Euro zone pledges continued fiscal support against Covid-19

Euro zone finance ministers have pledged continued fiscal support for their economies and discussed the design of post-pandemic recovery plans as the European Commission...

Total of 113 fines for violation of covid-19 restrictive measures

Police issued 111 fines to individuals and two more to shop owners all across Cyprus over the past 24 hours for breaching measures aiming...

Cyprus-UAE review prospects of advancing bilateral relations

The foreign ministers of Cyprus and the United Arab Emirates have reviewed the prospects of advancing relations between the two friendly nations across all...

New covid-19 cases on the decrease but hospital admissions on the rise in Cyprus

New coronavirus cases in Cyprus were on the decrease over the past couple of days but health experts are cautiously optimistic that the strict...

Approval of revised Cyprus 2021 budget closer but still not certain

It seems that approval of Cyprus’ revised 2021 budget which is to be put to the vote before parliament on Thursday is almost certain...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...