AN EIGHT-FOOT whale has washed up on the shores of the River Thames in London, England, the third beaching of a dead whale on the river in just two months.
The mammal, believed to be a minke whale which can grow up to 33ft long, was found motionless on the river banks under Battersea Bridge late on Friday evening (November 29). Earlier, the whale was spotted swimming up and down the river by several members of the public.
The discovery comes after a humpback whale nicknamed Hessy was found dead in the Thames near Greenhithe on October 8, and an endangered sei whale was found dead in Gravesend on October 18.
The Port of London Authority (PLA) has said that it will “endeavour to get the whale recovered safely” over the weekend. In response to the incident, spokesman Martin Garside said:
“A whale is very unusual in the River Thames, however we have now had three in the past two months.
“They are all different species and there is no obvious, simple cause. Hopefully we can learn about what causes it, is it just nature or is there some external reason.”
The PLA moved the whale to a facility in east London before it was transferred to experts at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) for a necropsy.
As Euro Weekly News understands, according to the ZSL around 600 cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) are found stranded around the UK coastline every year. The society has found that over a 25-year period the highest cause of death for cetaceans are from live-strandings which relates to unintentional capture by the fishing industry, and infectious diseases.
According to Rob Deaville, who leads an investigation project into the strandings of cetaceans at the ZSL, the mammal is the 27th minke whale to be washed up in the UK this year.
Deaville said that it was too early to speculate on how the whale came to its death, but that the organisation are not ruling out unnatural causes such as collisions with ships or injuries from fishing equipment.
Members of the public who were shocked of the discovery also shared images of the dead whale on social media.
I was weirdly first on the scene tonight, walking home across the Thames. Fortunately there’s now a vet and the port authorities are on their way. Such a terribly sad sight. #cetaceanstranding pic.twitter.com/EOWpzuAwYK
— Beulah Garner (@thiswordistaken) November 29, 2019