Kent

Sperm whale stuck in Thames Estuary off Whitstable dies

Whale in the Thames Image copyright BDMLR
Image caption The whale was spotted off the coast of Whitstable

A sperm whale which became stuck in the Thames Estuary has died.

The mammal was spotted about 100m (328ft) off the coast of Whitstable, Kent, on Thursday.

Medics monitored its progress and behaviour over the past two days and said it appeared to be distressed and confused.

A spokesman for British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) said the whale had since died and was currently at Elmley marshes.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sperm whales are not usually found around the UK

At first the whale was thought to be a minke or possibly a humpback, but when photos emerged from a member of public the BDMLR team said it "became clear that it was more likely to be a sperm whale".

They are not usually found around the UK but it is not the first time a whale has swum into its waters.

Benny the beluga became a minor celebrity when it appeared in the River Thames at Gravesend in September 2018. It is believed the whale made its way back out of the estuary in January 2019.

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