A young minke whale stranded in the River Thames was euthanised this morning (NZT), after multiple rescue attempts failed.
Rescuers worked for hours to re-float the whale, between three and four metres long, who was first spotted yesterday.
After stranding again this morning, the whale was noticeably weaker which prompted fears it wouldn’t survive back out at sea.
A veterinarian team from London Zoo were called in to euthanise the mammal, using inflatable platoons to prevent it slipping back into the river.
British Divers Marine Life Rescue said in a statement a post-mortem examination of the minke whale will be carried out tomorrow.
“This will hopefully reveal more as to why this young whale came to be in poor condition and lost in the river.”
Minke whales are the smallest of the great whales, growing to about 10 metres in length.
Hundreds of people gathered in Teddington, south-west London, for a peek at the young whale.