Minke whale stranded in the River Thames – update 20:00

We can now confirm that the minke whale at Teddington Lock has been humanely put to sleep after the animal restranded on the nearby embankment.

As reported earlier, the whale was notably weaker this afternoon, raising our concerns that were eventually borne out as it beached on the outgoing tide. Medics used inflatable pontoons to prevent the animal from slipping back into the river, which allowed the veterinary team from the Zoologicial Society of London to further assess the animal and end its suffering.

Arrangements are now being made for a post mortem examination to be carried out by our colleagues at the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme tomorrow. This will hopefully reveal more as to why this young whale came to be in poor condition and lost in the river.

We would like to thank the Port of London Authority, Thames Fire and Rescue Service, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, RNLI London & Thames Lifeboat and Thames Police for all of their assistance and support throughout this difficult incident, as well as our volunteer Medics who have been on scene for much of the last 24 hours.

Photos: BDMLR.