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The two Atlantic white-sided dolphins, a mother and calf spotted near Teddington Lock, are feared to have perished, it was revealed today

A spokesperson for the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) described it as a ‘sad day.’

They added: “There was concern that this mum and calf may had been unable to pass through due to the lock gates in Richmond that go up at specific times when the tide is at a certain level.

“These gates were opened for the dolphins. Though they had the opportunity to go through, they swam in the opposite direction all the way to Teddington Weir where they were, again, unable to pass.

“At this point they showed signs of fatigue. The last sighting of the juvenile was approximately an hour before our last visual of the mother. No sightings have since been reported. While we do not have certainty, we are sadly, not optimistic.

“Once mammals in distress get this far it is increasingly more difficult to get them to where they need to be and their chances of survival are slim. It can often be the case that there is already an underlying health concern, which may have disoriented them in the first place.

“We would like to acknowledge the RNLI, London Fire Brigade, Met Police, PLA and Richmond Parks Officers for their dedication to the safety of all involve.”

It is not unusual to see dolphins and seals in areas of the Thames but they often become distressed because of river traffic and lack of food.

A Teddington RNLI spokesperson told Teddington Town: “A volunteer crew from Teddington RNLI were paged at 4.19pm on Saturday 20 April following reports of two dolphins seen in the River Thames near Teddington Lock.

“Their role was primarily of safety for the crowds of people who were gathering riverside hoping for a glimpse of the mammals. They also provided some assistance to the volunteer charity British Divers Marine Life Rescue who were on scene.”

If you see dolphins in the Thames please call British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) at 01825 765 546. Please always keep your distance from any marine mammals in the Thames and use the best practice advice found in the DEFRA Marine Wildlife Code.

The BDMLR is in need of dolphin stretchers for its Thames medic team. If you would like to support you can donate here:





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