By Tim Binnall
To the amazement of wildlife experts and onlookers in a British town, a beluga whale has been spotted in the famed River Thames. The creature was initially noticed late in the morning on Tuesday by an ecologist who posted footage of the out-of-place animal on Twitter. Dave Andrews marveled "can't believe I'm writing this, no joke – beluga in the Thames" and went on explain that the creature was "feeding around the barges" with seemingly no plans to leave the area.
As to how the beluga whale wound up nearly 1,000 miles away from its native habitat, marine biologists are uncertain, but suspect that it somehow got disoriented and wound up swimming into the river. They also posited that the creature could be sick, although it seemed to be behaving normally and did not appear to be in distress. "We are not particularly concerned about its welfare apart from the fact that it really shouldn’t be there," a marine life rescue worker explained to a British newspaper.
To that end, officials are asking boats on the water as well as curious residents, who flocked to the shores of the river as word of the whale spread throughout town, to keep a safe distance from the creature during its proverbial visit to the area. A whale specialist has also been dispatched to the location to investigate the situation and determine what, if any, action may be needed to ensure that the whale eventually makes its way back to the ocean safely.