The baby whale that got stuck in the river Thames has been euthanized.
Multiple agencies reported the infant mammal trapped in the Richmond Lock in South West London at around 7:30 pm on Sunday.
It was moved with hopes of releasing it back into the sea. However, the horrible step was taken because of its deteriorating condition.
The decision was made to put the animal to sleep, said Julia Cable, national co-ordinator at the British Divers Marine Life Rescue service.
Talking about the decision, Ms Cable said:
The last 45 minutes we were with the whale its condition was deteriorating, its breathing wasn’t right and it wouldn’t have survived much longer. The vets said it was clearly suffering and that it was the right decision.
Vets from the London Zoo injected a large amount of anesthetic dose yesterday.
She went on:
It’s always sad, but we now know that putting it back out into the open sea would have been sending it to starve out there.
Ms Cable said that the whale was still maternally dependent because of its small size.
It will be socially dependent, so to be on its own something has happened. It has been separated from either its mother or a group. It’s in a nutritionally poor state, it’s also got injuries from stranding. We know it was stranded for five or seven hours yesterday, so all the time that happens the organs can get damaged as well.
Crowds gathered at the Teddington Lock on Monday to catch a glimpse of the whale.
It was also confirmed by the authorities that it was a minke whale that was around 10 to 13 ft long.
The whale was found in poor health and was put on pontoons to make it more comfortable.
However, it was too late.
Ms Cable said:
It’s not really going to come down to a rescue now. Its condition is deteriorating. It’s not acting the way it did last night. It’s basically lost any energy that it had left in it. It’s also got another stranding injury which along with ones from yesterday all adds up really. It’s not looking like we’ll be able to re-float the animal.
Eyewitnesses initially said that they saw the whale swimming freely.
Port of London authority officials and members of the local RNLI were also attending the scene to keep an eye on the stranded whale.
Matt Allchurch, a member of Teddington RNLI, released a statement about their duty before the whale was euthanized.
We have crews at the scene who are monitoring the situation. There is nothing much we can do really other than to keep an eye on it, to a certain extent it has run out of road as it’s where the tidal Thames meets the River Thames. It will have plenty of water but to be honest it has headed in the wrong direction, it’s going westwards when it really needs to be going east and out towards the sea.
Multiple reports suggested that the whale was underweight.
The whale also had some injuries on its pectoral fins.
Poor little one.