River Thames whale

River Thames Whale

River Thames whale

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The River Thames whale was a juvenile female Northern Bottlenose whale which was discovered swimming in the River Thames in central London on Friday 20 January 2006. According to the BBC, she was five metres (16 ft) long and weighed about seven tonnes (24,400 lb). The whale appeared to have become lost, as her normal habitat would have been around the coasts of the far north of Scotland and Ireland, and in the seas around the Arctic Ocean. It was the first time the species had been seen in the Thames since records began in 1913. She died after suffering from convulsions as she was being rescued shortly after 19:00 GMT on 21 January 2006.


19 January

On Thursday 19 January reports from the Thames Barrier control team were made to the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) that one, or possibly two, pilot whales had come through the barrier. This turned out to be the Bottlenose whale, and BDMLR commenced monitoring the whale that evening.

20 January

At 08:30 a.m on Friday 20 January, a man on a train phoned the authorities to say that he believed he had been hallucinating, as he thought he had just spotted a whale swimming in the River Thames. Throughout the morning, more and more whale sightings were reported, confirmed when television cameras captured the Bottlenose whale on video.

The whale beached several times during the day as the tide went out. Members of the public went onto the foreshore to encourage the whale back...
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