Beluga whale in Thames eating, swimming well

Animal drew lots of attention when it surfaced in the River Thames a day ago in the Gravesend area

Beluga whale in Thames eating, swimming well

British officials say the beluga whale spotted in the River Thames seems to be feeding properly and swimming strongly.

The animal welfare group RSPCA said Wednesday the whale is “able to move fast in the water and dive.” Officials hope it will return to the open sea.

The beluga whale attracted a plenty of attention Tuesday when it surfaced in the River Thames. The unusual sighting happened in the Gravesend area, 50 kilometres east of London.

Belugas are typically found farther north in frigid Arctic waters.

Officials say nearby ships have heeded the call to stay far away from the whale to avoid upsetting it.

READ MORE: Vancouver Aquarium to no longer house whales, dolphins

RSPCA says “at the moment, there are no major concerns for the welfare of the animal.”

The Associated Press

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