Whale swims on River Thames | india | Hindustan Times
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Whale swims on River Thames

It's a whale of a tale - a bottle-nosed whale swimming up the River Thames past Big Ben and Parliament.

india Updated: Jan 21, 2006 20:13 IST

It's a whale of a tale- a bottle-nosed whale swimming up the River Thames past Big Ben and Parliament as rows of worried spectators looked on.

The northern bottle-nosed whale was spotted in central London Friday afternoon- the first sighting in the river since 1913- as it flailed around the murky waters of the Thames, stirring up patches of what looked like blood as seagulls hovered above and rescue boats stood on the ready.

"It is a race against time to save the animal," said Alison Shaw, marine and freshwater conservation programme manager at the Zoological Society of London.

After dark Friday, a small armada of rescue boats made frantic searches for the whale, which disappeared from view around 5:30 p.m. (1730GMT) after diving under the surface of the water in fading light.

Crews barricaded a section of river in an attempt to force the animal to change course and reports Friday evening claimed the mammal may be heading for safety.