Search

Whale seen in river in King's Lynn

PUBLISHED: 08:45 28 June 2018 | UPDATED: 14:55 28 June 2018

A whale was spotted in the River Great Ouse in King's Lynn. Photo: Ian Burt

A whale was spotted in the River Great Ouse in King's Lynn. Photo: Ian Burt

Ian Burt

A whale was spotted in the Great Ouse in King’s Lynn this morning.

A whale was spotted in the River Great Ouse in King's Lynn. Photo: Ian BurtA whale was spotted in the River Great Ouse in King's Lynn. Photo: Ian Burt

It was sighted near the Cut Bridges at around 8am.

A crowd of people gathered on the riverbank at Harding’s Pits to see the creature - which is still to be identified but believed to be a pilot or minke whale.

The whale in the River Ouse at King's Lynn  Picture: Chris BishopThe whale in the River Ouse at King's Lynn Picture: Chris Bishop

It surfaced every few minutes, blowing a spout of water before breathing and diving again.

As the tide turned, the whale was carried downstream towards Boal Quay. As it approached the bank, a number of what appeared to be fresh wounds could be seen in its back.

The whale in the River Ouse at King's Lynn  Picture: Chris BishopThe whale in the River Ouse at King's Lynn Picture: Chris Bishop

The whale appeared to be struggling to fight the powerful current in the tidal river, as it was carried towards South Quay and the Custom House.

Carl Chapman, of Wildlife Tours and Education who runs the Norfolk Cetacean website, said he believed it could be a fin whale.

The whale in the River Ouse at King's Lynn  Picture: Chris BishopThe whale in the River Ouse at King's Lynn Picture: Chris Bishop

“There has been numerous records through history of fin whales in the Ouse so it’s not that unusual,” he added.

He said the whale may have taken the wrong turn when returning from the Arctic, where the mammals migrate to for the summer.

Towards Autumn, they normally work their way down south towards the Atlantic Ocean along the west side of the UK.

“This whale has come down east of the country, and instinct tells him to head southwest which is probably how he ended up in King’s Lynn,” Mr Chapman added.

The whale in the Great Ouse at King's Lynn  Picture: Chris BishopThe whale in the Great Ouse at King's Lynn Picture: Chris Bishop

He also believes that the whale may have headed to Norfolk waters to meet it’s end.

“The animal appears to have lacerations on the dorsal area, how they were caused I don’t know but obviously it ran into trouble,” he said. “It may be coming in to shallow water to die - if you imagine being exhausted through injury, then having to breath above water would be difficult.

The whale in the Great Ouse at King's Lynn  Picture: Chris BishopThe whale in the Great Ouse at King's Lynn Picture: Chris Bishop

“It may prefer to rest it’s head on the bank somewhere instead of being in distress, sinking or drowning.

“But hopefully it will make its way back out to sea.”

A whale was spotted in the River Great Ouse in King's Lynn. Photo: Ian BurtA whale was spotted in the River Great Ouse in King's Lynn. Photo: Ian Burt

In recent winters, a number of sperm whales have washed up on the beach in Hunstanton and Snettisham. All have died, despite attempts to save them.

When the tide goes out and leaves the creatures stranded, they suffocate under their own weight without the water to support them.

Did you see the whale? Send your photos to taz.ali@archant.co.uk.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists