Whale Stuck in London's Themes River Freed

Society | May 10, 2021, Monday // 23:47
Bulgaria: Whale Stuck in London's Themes River Freed

The health of a whale that was freed after getting stuck in London's River Thames was failing on Monday, with rescuers reporting the sea mammal was "not really going anywhere" and could be euthanised.

The small Minke whale, believed to be up to 4 metres long, was first seen at Richmond Lock Bridge, south-west London, late on Sunday.

Images taken by residents showed the mammal had become stuck on the lock’s boat rollers.

A seven-hour rescue attempt concluded at 1 am on Monday with the whale swimming off.

But after being spotted in Teddington, 4 kilometres south of Richmond, later on Monday, the whale was "staying in one place" and appears to be injured, a spokesperson for Britain's Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

Crews were waiting for the tide to change so the whale can be moved on to a stretcher and towed east towards the ocean.

However, a short time later, the British Divers Marine Life Rescue service (BDMLR) said the whale's condition had "deteriorated rapidly over the last couple of hours."

"The animal is positioned against the river wall and the tide is now dropping quickly and it is expected the animal will be beached very soon," a statement from BDMLR said. 

Medics will try to position themselves to prevent the whale entering deep water again where it is now having difficulty swimming as its strength reserves seem to be compromised.

"Once the whale is beached a veterinary team will be on stand by to euthanise the animal to end its suffering, in the meantime the team will continue to do what they can to care for the animal under these sad circumstances."

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