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Nothing left to do for the minke whale in London’s Thames

The whale firstly showed up on Sunday night near Richmond and then moved to Teddington, unleashing the curiosity of hundreds of people.

Minke whale in river Thames has been put down

For the minke whale trapped in the river Thames there was nothing left to do. Vets had no choice and had to put it down. The announcement came earlier from British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR): “Once the whale is beached a veterinary team will be on stand by to euthanize the animal to end its suffering”.

According to BDMLR the animal was “very distressed” after getting stuck in the riverbank near Teddington, in south-west London. Its injured and drained calf would not allow it to swim even into deeper water. Euthanasia was thus the only available option.

How did a minke whale get in river Thames?

The Minke whale was first sighted in the river Thames in Richmond’s area on Sunday night. Julia Cable, National Co-ordinator at BDMLRC stated that the length of the whale, which was around four meters long, suggested it was very young. Since it wasn’t already independent from its mother, they couldn’t just “put it back out”.

“It’s nutritionally in a poor state. Either it’s been separated from its mum too early, or something’s happened … it’s run out of energy,” she told.

A lot of people came by to see the wild lodge of river Thames stranded on the lock’s boat rollers getting rescued. But, after port staff, firefighters, coast guard members and marine animal rescue divers managed to free the animal, it slipped back into the water. It happened on Monday, while the whale was on an inflatable pontoon for heath checks.

Although the river Thames is no new to wild animals, it is not Minke whale’s natural habitat. This animal can become huge, growing up to a size of nine meters. You can usually find it in the northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

As Martin Garside, a spokesman from the Port of London Authority, explained: “This animal comes from the northern North Sea – so it is hundreds of miles from where it should be. The whale is a hundred miles from the opening to the North Sea in the Thames Estuary”.

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