Dehydration is reason for death of Thames whale

The whale which strayed into the River Thames last week died of a combination of factors, including severe dehydration and muscle damage, marine mammal experts said Wednesday. The Zoological Society of London released autopsy results at a news conference after an assessment on how the northern bottlenose whale died on Saturday, a day after appearing in the Thames in central London.

The examination was conducted by Paul Jepson, who has led government-funded research on why whales have become stranded on British shores, the society said. The female whale swam in the shallow waters of the Thames, passing the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben as she captivated onlookers who crowded along the river's banks to watch her progress. The whale died Saturday during a rescue operation to transport her to the sea on a salvage barge, reports the AP. N.U.