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Photo: Jim Bennett/JIM BENNETTvia The Guardian

Dead humpback whale in Thames was hit by a ship

A humpback whale that was seen in England’s River Thames last weekend was hit by a ship.

British Divers Marine Life Rescue confirmed that the whale died on Tuesday. The animal’s lifeless body was spotted floating in the river near Greenhithe in Kent, as per The Guardian.

“The whale came into sight, slowly surfacing on the Dartford side of the bridge, and then diving again for around five minutes,” the rescuers said, as per The Guardian.

Now, developments have been reported by the UK news outlet. According to the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the humpback whale was struck by a ship. It is not confirmed if the wounds sustained by the animal were inflicted prior to or after its demise.

“From initial examinations, ZSL can confirm the humpback whale is a juvenile female and has a large wound indicative of a ship strike, but it is currently unknown whether this was inflicted before or after the whale’s death,” Rob Deaville, project manager of ZSL told The Guardian.

“ZSL’s CSIP team will be carrying out the postmortem this evening to learn more about the reasons for the whale’s death and why it entered the Thames.”

It is unusual for a humpback whale to be stranded in the United Kingdom’s coast. Only up to a couple of incidents similar to this have been recorded annually. However, this incident is the fifth recorded for the United Kingdom so far.

Local media reports that the whale had traveled to River Thames westward along with the incoming tide.