Whale stranded in London's Thames river put down

Rescuers decided the best option was to end its suffering and put it to sleep

A whale calf that got stranded in London's River Thames was put down on Monday, after its condition deteriorated and hopes for its survival faded. The minke whale was first spotted on Sunday night at Richmond Lock, where it became beached on concrete.

Rescuers worked for hours to refloat it and then towed it a mile downstream. They hoped it would make its way to the ocean, but it was later spotted swimming several miles upstream.

When it became stuck again, rescuers decided the best thing to do would be to end its suffering and put it to sleep.

The size of the whale, estimated at around 4.5 meters, suggested that it was still maternally dependent. There was no sign of its mother and it was in poor nutritional health.

It's very rare for whales to come into the River Thames. The port authority said the calf would have come from the North Sea, the divide between Great Britain and Norway.

Published: May 11, 2021 08:33 AM

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