The 4-meter-long whale appeared in a dam in southwest London over the weekend for unknown reasons.
London. A whale that appeared in the River Thames in London was killed by professionals due to its poor health. Divers Relief UK said Monday evening, “We confirm that a minke whale was killed in a humane manner at Tiddington Lock after being stranded on the nearby dam.” The 4-meter-long whale appeared in a dam in southwest London over the weekend for unknown reasons.
Before euthanasia, the whale drifted quietly into the water at Teddington Lock in the Richmond area. From there it is approximately 50 km to the open sea. On Sunday, a whale appeared near a nearby lock, as hundreds of onlookers watched the hours-long rescue operation. However, the little minke whale was able to escape the rescuers – on Monday afternoon it returned to Richmond and made its way a little further.
The whale was probably followed by fishing in the river
It was not clear at first why this animal, which usually lives in the North Atlantic, swim up to the top of the River Thames. It may have followed a fish from the North Sea to the river and got lost. Examination after euthanasia should provide information on why the whale’s health is deteriorating so rapidly.
The lock at Richmond is the furthest downstream as the tides can still be felt in the North Sea. To get there from the Thames estuary, a whale must also swim through the city center along Parliament and the iconic tower.
This isn’t the first time a whale has lost its way in London’s River Thames. The Thames River Whale, better known as Willie, is a northern duck whale that was seen in the river in January 2006 but was not saved alive. In 2019, two dead whales were discovered in the River Thames within a short period of time, but near the mouth of the river.