Beluga whale makes waves as it swims up Thames near London

Beluga whale makes waves as it swims up Thames near London

Beluga whale makes waves as it swims up Thames near London

"Hopefully instinct will soon kick in and the beluga will leave the estuary and go out into the North Sea and then head north where it should be", Mr Lott said.

There have only been around 20 sightings of beluga whales off the United Kingdom coast previously (file photo).

The rare marine mammal was first spotted near Gravesend, Kent, on Tuesday afternoon and appeared to be "swimming strongly" and feeding in the estuary.

According to the UK-based Whale and Dolphin Conservation group, there have been just 20 sightings of beluga whales off the United Kingdom coast before today's incident.

Beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) normally live in Arctic and sub-Arctic waters, so any beluga in the Thames would be a long way from home.

Edna Brady from Sky News spotted the whale this morning and said it looked like it had moved a few miles further west since yesterday.

However rescue teams were on standby in case the animal got into danger.

The RSPCA says it is "working with other agencies to monitor the situation".

"Can't believe I'm writing this, no joke - BELUGA in the Thames off Coalhouse Fort", he tweeted.

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation society said the whale could be ill, or young and separated from his or her pod.

The last reported sighting of a beluga in United Kingdom waters was in 2015, when two were spotted off the northeast coast of England and one in Northern Ireland.

"The Thames beluga is back feeding in its favoured spot around the barges on the Kent side", he said urging all boats to "keep clear and let it alone".

A bottle-nosed whale became stranded in the Thames for two days in 2006, but died from convulsions as it was being rescued. They are known for their bulbous forehead, known as a "melon", which allows them to make various facial expressions due to its flexibility.

Related news