Expert investigates Thames whale's death.
Paul Jepson, of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), hopes to find clues which might explain why the 15ft northern bottle-nosed whale became lost in the river.
A two-day battle to save the animal, believed to be an adolescent male, came to an end on Saturday night as rescuers tried to take it to deeper water.
It was already having trouble breathing and was suffering from muscle spasms when it convulsed and died of natural causes at around 7pm.
Thousands of onlookers had crammed on to bridges and the river embankment in central London to watch the sea mammal being lifted by crane on to a barge.
Millions more then watched on television around the world as the barge headed downriver, only for the whale's health to deteriorate en route.
Tony Woodley, a director of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) group, said that despite the sad outcome, the decision to move the whale was correct.
"We believe that if the whale had been left how it was then it would have just slowly died and we don't think that was the acceptable option to take."
Before the dramatic events of the last few days, a whale had not been spotted in the Thames since records began in 1913.
Rescuers tend the distressed whale Pictures: ANDREW PARSONS' The flotilla heads downriver
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|Publication:||Daily Post (Liverpool, England)|
|Date:||Jan 23, 2006|
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