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Benny the Beluga Whale dines with two porpoise friends


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Benny the Beluga whale has made a couple of friends on his visit to the Kent coast.

Benny, who was spotted in the River Thames near Gravesend, has been moving around the water since Tuesday.

And now, he’s been joined by a two porpoises who are keeping him company on his holiday.

Benny on the first day he was spotted. Picture: Fraser Gray. (4482671)
Benny on the first day he was spotted. Picture: Fraser Gray. (4482671)

Mark Stevens, director of British Divers Marine Life Rescue, said: “The last I heard yesterday evening he had teamed up with two porpoises, which means he must have food otherwise they wouldn’t hang around.

“We just have to wait for him to go. All the while he’s got food he will stay. We have checked him and his body condition looks fine and his behaviour is normal.

A beluga whale - library picture (4482745)
A beluga whale - library picture (4482745)

“If we start seeing anything other than that we will have to think again.”

Port of London Authority has issued a restricted navigation notice on all non-essential vessels.

Graphic (4482681)
Graphic (4482681)

Any crafts in the water must keep speed to a minimum and keep at least 100m from Benny.

Mr Stevens continued: “The authority are making sure no one breaks that with radar and they have a physical presence on the water.

“I watched Beluga whales swim in shallower rivers in Seattle this year. They are used to swimming in water this deep.

“All the time it’s got food it can cope in the river.

“It’s a free swimming whale doing what a free swimming whale does but it’s great that so many people get to see it.”

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