Despite the hour-long rescue, the stray animal’s chances of survival are poor. Aides said that one was ready to put the animal to sleep.
Aides to a four-meter-tall whale in London can no longer count on the whale’s rescue success An animal appeared in the Thames. The British Divers Association announced on Monday evening on their Facebook page that one of them was preparing to euthanize the animal. The whale appeared in a lock in southwest London over the weekend for unknown reasons.
“There will be no real rescue now,” said Julia Capple of British Divers Relief. The whale has lost its energy and is “as good as stranded” near Teddington Lock. From there it is approximately 50 km to the open sea. Rescuers described liberating the nearly four-meter-long whale as a major logistical challenge.
On Sunday evening, hundreds of onlookers in the southwest London neighborhood of Richmond saw aides work hours to free the animal from the Richmond Lock. However, the little minke whale managed to escape from the rescuers – on Monday afternoon it returned to Richmond and even a little further, namely at Teddington Lock.
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. 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 the 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.
(Ma / dpa)