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  • Writer's pictureThalassophile official

Hessy the Humpback whale discovered in the River Thames London, died due to being hit by a ship

Hessy was first spotted near Dartford Bridge in Kent on Sunday, measuring 8.37metre-long. Zoological Society of London's (ZSL) examination revealed that she was a juvenile female, and showed no evidence of recent feeding and was nutritionally compromised, although there was no evidence of plastic indigestion.

The whale was removed from the Thames in Greenhithe on Tuesday when she was found lifeless in shallow water under a major road bridge. An autopsy was carried out showing that the young female had been hit by a ship, causing death. She had a large wound on her head, as well as a fractured jaw.

"It's certainly possible that the whale was struck outside of the Thames and already had these injuries whilst it was seen swimming within the river at the beginning of the week," the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) said in a statement.

As well as the wounds caused by the ship, Hessy also had older scars on her dorsal fin and tail flukes, suggesting she may have been entangled in a net or suffered some other interaction with human activity earlier in her life.

According to the CSIP Hessy"is the fifth humpback whale reported in the UK so far this year – three of these involved likely entanglements. This is also the first incidence of ship strike diagnosed in a UK stranded humpback whale".

Globally the humpback whale population has recovered rapidly, since commercial whaling ended, however, more strandings are occurring as the population increases.

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