/Hessy the humpback whales 32ft carcass is hauled from Thames

Hessy the humpback whales 32ft carcass is hauled from Thames

Hessy the humpback whale was a baby girl and had been hit by a large ship, scientists have confirmed after hoisting the 32ft carcass from the Thames.    

The magnificent animal had been travelling back and forth over a stretch of five miles after it was first sighted near Dartford Bridge in Kent on Sunday, but was found dead at around 5pm yesterday. 

It is not yet known exactly how Hessy died, but there are reports she could have perished due to malnutrition and today it was revealed that she collided with a vessel.

Rob Deaville, manager of the Zoological Society of London, said the whale’s injuries are consistent with a ship striking the mammal.

‘From initial examinations we can confirm the humpback whale is a juvenile female and has a large wound indicative of a ship strike, but it is currently unknown whether this was inflicted before or after the whale’s death.’  

The magnificent animal, nicknamed Hessy, had been travelling back and forth over a stretch of five miles after it was first sighted near Dartford Bridge in Kent on Sunday, but was found dead at around 5pm yesterday. It is seen this morning being loaded onto a trailer at Gravesend on its way for dissection by the Zoological Society of London

The magnificent animal, nicknamed Hessy, had been travelling back and forth over a stretch of five miles after it was first sighted near Dartford Bridge in Kent on Sunday, but was found dead at around 5pm yesterday. It is seen this morning being loaded onto a trailer at Gravesend on its way for dissection by the Zoological Society of London

The magnificent animal, nicknamed Hessy, had been travelling back and forth over a stretch of five miles after it was first sighted near Dartford Bridge in Kent on Sunday, but was found dead at around 5pm yesterday. It is seen this morning being loaded onto a trailer at Gravesend on its way for dissection by the Zoological Society of London 

Hessy sadly died after her journey and her bloodied carcass is pictured above after it was hit by a ship. She was found dead after 5pm yesterday

Hessy sadly died after her journey and her bloodied carcass is pictured above after it was hit by a ship. She was found dead after 5pm yesterday

Hessy sadly died after her journey and her bloodied carcass is pictured above after it was hit by a ship. She was found dead after 5pm yesterday 

Two Port of London Authority boats and one RNLI lifeboat were deployed to recover the carcass at around 6.30pm and tow it to shore, before it was kept overnight and then winched onto a trailer this morning on its way to dissection

Two Port of London Authority boats and one RNLI lifeboat were deployed to recover the carcass at around 6.30pm and tow it to shore, before it was kept overnight and then winched onto a trailer this morning on its way to dissection

Two Port of London Authority boats and one RNLI lifeboat were deployed to recover the carcass at around 6.30pm and tow it to shore, before it was kept overnight and then winched onto a trailer this morning on its way to dissection

A spokesman for the Port of London authority described the recovery operation last night. He said: ‘We managed to secure the whale to the larger of the boats, the Kew, and then began dragging it. The whale was so big and heavy that the Kew was only able to do one and a half miles an hour'

A spokesman for the Port of London authority described the recovery operation last night. He said: ‘We managed to secure the whale to the larger of the boats, the Kew, and then began dragging it. The whale was so big and heavy that the Kew was only able to do one and a half miles an hour'

 A spokesman for the Port of London authority described the recovery operation last night. He said: ‘We managed to secure the whale to the larger of the boats, the Kew, and then began dragging it. The whale was so big and heavy that the Kew was only able to do one and a half miles an hour’

Two Port of London Authority boats and one RNLI lifeboat recovered the body at around 6.30pm  on Tuesday. This morning it was winched onto a trailer and taken for dissection. 

Three boats worked in tandem to slowly move the carcass along the river to the Port of London Authority’s Denton Wharf.

A spokesman for the Port of London authority said the whale was found underneath the Dartford Crossing. He told MailOnline: ‘We had two Port of London patrol boats – the Kew and the East Haven – plus an RNLI life boat.  

‘We managed to secure the whale to the larger of the boats, the Kew, and then began dragging it. The whale was so big and heavy that the Kew was only able to do one and a half miles an hour.

‘It took us four hours to take it to the Port of London authority facility in Gravesend. It was kept there overnight and ZSL (Zoological Society of London) came and picked it up in the morning.’ 

Rare sightings of the whale had delighted onlookers and whale watchers, who flocked to the banks of the Thames to catch a glimpse of the elusive animal.

Experts say it is likely the juvenile whale made a navigational error and swam up the Thames from the North Sea last week on a spring tide when the water level was at its highest. 

Martin Garside, of the Port of London Authority, was on the first boat dispatched to Hessy at about 6.30pm last night.

Experts say it is likely the juvenile whale made a navigational error and swam up the Thames from the North Sea last week on a spring tide when the water level was at its highest

Experts say it is likely the juvenile whale made a navigational error and swam up the Thames from the North Sea last week on a spring tide when the water level was at its highest

The whale's carcass being lifted this morning

The whale's carcass being lifted this morning

Experts say it is likely the juvenile whale made a navigational error and swam up the Thames from the North Sea last week on a spring tide when the water level was at its highest

The Zoological Society of London dissects whales and dolphins found washed up on UK shores to dry and understand why they died

The Zoological Society of London dissects whales and dolphins found washed up on UK shores to dry and understand why they died

The Zoological Society of London dissects whales and dolphins found washed up on UK shores to dry and understand why they died 

He said: ‘It was quite eery. I was lucky in a way to see such a beautiful creature. There I was standing so close to this magnificent creature, with the motorway traffic whizzing about above me.

‘It was moving in really fast water. We were afraid of losing it so we called for assistance. It took four hours at one and a half miles per hour. We had three boats involved, Easthaven, Kew and the RNLI. Kew dragged it.

‘The whale is very big, it’s at least ten metres long. Exact details about length and weight will come out in the next few days. A whale in the Thames is very rare. It was very big – it’s at least ten metres long.’

Lucy Babey, head of science at ORCA, believes it may have become disorientated after not getting enough food. 

‘From the photographs and reports, it looks like the whale was malnourished and didn’t have many fat reserves on it, so it clearly hadn’t been feeding properly,’ she told MailOnline. 

‘These animals need big fat reserves for their long migrations when they can travel tens of thousands of miles, and to keep warm in cold water.

‘It was clearly in poor nutritional health, which meant it was disoriented and made a navigational error. It would have died anyway even if it was not in the Thames. Why it hadn’t been feeding properly is what we’ll find out in the autopsy.’ 

A map showing how the typical migration route of a humpback whale passes the UK's north coast. This particular whale was not following the usual pattern

A map showing how the typical migration route of a humpback whale passes the UK's north coast. This particular whale was not following the usual pattern

A map showing how the typical migration route of a humpback whale passes the UK’s north coast. This particular whale was not following the usual pattern 

Rare sightings of the whale had delighted onlookers and whale watchers, who flocked to the banks of the Thames to catch a glimpse of the elusive animal

Rare sightings of the whale had delighted onlookers and whale watchers, who flocked to the banks of the Thames to catch a glimpse of the elusive animal

 Rare sightings of the whale had delighted onlookers and whale watchers, who flocked to the banks of the Thames to catch a glimpse of the elusive animal

Benny the beluga whale rose to national fame when he was spotted in the River Thames last year.

Benny the beluga whale rose to national fame when he was spotted in the River Thames last year.

Benny the beluga whale rose to national fame when he was spotted in the River Thames last year.

experts believe the juvenile whale made a navigational error and swam up the Thames from the North Sea last week on a spring tide when the water level is at its highest

experts believe the juvenile whale made a navigational error and swam up the Thames from the North Sea last week on a spring tide when the water level is at its highest

experts believe the juvenile whale made a navigational error and swam up the Thames from the North Sea last week on a spring tide when the water level is at its highest

experts believe the juvenile whale made a navigational error and swam up the Thames from the North Sea last week on a spring tide when the water level is at its highest

Experts believe the juvenile whale made a navigational error and swam up the Thames from the North Sea last week on a spring tide when the water level is at its highest

The whale has signs of 'historic entanglement' scarring on its dorsal fin but looks unharmed apart from that

The whale has signs of 'historic entanglement' scarring on its dorsal fin but looks unharmed apart from that

The whale has signs of ‘historic entanglement’ scarring on its dorsal fin but looks unharmed apart from that

Another humpback whale which entered the Thames 10 years ago is known to have died of starvation.

The exact cause of Hessy’s death will be determined following analysis from the Cetacean Strandings Investigations Programme at London Zoo.

It is the fifth humpback whale to be recorded stranded in the UK by the programme. 

HUMPBACK WHALE POPULATIONS AND THEIR THREATS

Humpback whales live in oceans around the world. They travel incredible distances every year and have one of the longest migrations of any mammal on the planet. 

Some populations swim 5,000 miles from tropical breeding grounds to colder, plentiful feeding grounds – this is why it is difficult to estimate population size, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Of the 14 distinct populations, 12 are estimated to number more than 2,000 humpback whales each and two are estimated to number fewer than 2,000. 

Humpback whales live in oceans around the world. They travel incredible distances every year and have one of the longest migrations of any mammal on the planet

Humpback whales live in oceans around the world. They travel incredible distances every year and have one of the longest migrations of any mammal on the planet

Humpback whales live in oceans around the world. They travel incredible distances every year and have one of the longest migrations of any mammal on the planet

Some populations (such as those off eastern and western Australia) are believed to number in excess of 20,000 animals—a remarkable recovery given that the same populations were almost eradicated by whaling almost sixty years ago. 

By contrast, the smallest known population is one which inhabits the Arabian Sea year-round, and may number as few as 80 individuals. 

Threats to humpback whales include decline in food like Krill due to a combination of climate change and industrial-scale fishing.

Humpback whales can become entangled by many different gear types including moorings, traps, pots, or gillnets. 

Once entangled, if they are able to move the gear, the whale may drag and swim with attached gear for long distances, ultimately resulting in fatigue, compromised feeding ability, or severe injury. 

There is evidence to suggest that most humpback whales experience entanglement over the course of their lives, but are often able to shed the gear on their own. 

Inadvertent vessel strikes can injure or kill humpback whales. 

Humpback whales are vulnerable to vessel strikes throughout their range, but the risk is much higher in some coastal areas with heavy ship traffic. 

Underwater noise threatens whale populations, interrupting their normal behaviour and driving them away from areas important to their survival. 

Sound has been shown to increase stress hormones in their system and mask the natural sounds humpback whales require to communicate and locate prey.