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Whale thames w320

What The Whale?

The historic UK county of Kent has been a popular seaside holiday destination for many decades, its borders hug the English coastal line offering the perfect British vacation spot. Although the entirety of the forest-clad county seems to be regularly attracting adventurers, unfamiliar visitors have recently been splashed across headlines after their recent trips to the Kent riverside…

In 2018, ‘’Benny’’ the Beluga whale made headlines after entering and choosing to settle within the Kent stretch of the River Thames. The town of Gravesend played host to Benny for 3 months as residents happily watched the whale swim and feed along the Gravesend stretch of river before he headed back to the Artic coastal waters in early 2019.

Benny’s holiday ended like most others, with the return to his homeland, unfortunately the same can not be said for his relative’s recent voyages through the Thames.

On the 6th October volunteers observed a large being, reported to be between 5-10 metres in length, repeatedly approaching the surface of the river near the Dartford Crossing. The British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) later confirmed the body to be of a Humpback whale, whom was sadly pronounced as deceased 2 days after the discovery (8th). The whale was nicknames ‘’Hessy’’ and attracted hundreds of people to the area.

Less than 5miles from Hessy’s resting point and only 9 days later, a Fin whale has been found dead in the stretch of the Thames bordering Gravesend. The Zoological Society London (ZSL) confirmed that the whale had sustained injuries indicative of a ship strike, although they’re still unsure whether this happened prior to the mammal’s death. The same marine organisation explained that the whale likely arrived in the Thames after a navigational error instigated by high tides caused by the recent full and new moons.

The Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) are a body formed solely to investigate the death of porpoise, whales and dolphins.In 2009 Rob Deaville, CSIP project manager revealed that there had only been 12 ‘beachings’ of humpback whales in the UK in the last 20 years, describing it as ‘‘an incredibly unusual event’’. Similarly, the ZSL claim that on yearly, only one to two whales are found stranded in the UK. This is however, the 5th Whale sighting recorded this year.