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Large humpback whale spotted in River Thames near London

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Image: A humpback whale surfaced in the River Thames, United Kingdom
A humpback whale surfaced in the River Thames, United Kingdom on Oct. 6, 2019. -
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Shaun O'Riordan
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LONDON — A humpback whalemeasuring at least 16 feet has been spotted in the River Thames just east of London almost exactly a year since a beluga whale was first sighted in the British capital.

"We are 99.9999 percent sure it is a humpback whale — there have been multiple sightings," said a spokesman for the Port of London Authority, which oversees the river.

A beluga whale named as "Benny the Beluga" spent over three months in the River Thames last year.

"It is not Benny, it is not a beluga," the spokesman said.

Humpback whales, once prized by hunters for their blubber, can weigh up to 40 tons and span 60 feet in length.

Humpbacks migrate tens of thousands of miles a year between the rich feeding grounds of the Arctic and breeding grounds in tropical waters.