A sperm whale that got stuck in the UK's wildest river for three days has died.
The male humpback had clambered out of the shallow tidal waters of the River Thames near Parsons Green in London last week only to be dragged under by strong tides.
The five-metre-long (16ft) giant was wedged between a shipping bridge and Dover Port for three days before it finally passed out of life last night.
A sperm whale that got stuck in the UK's wildest river for three days has died
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: 'As well as necessary safety measures, the RNLI have also relocated a number of vessels while a strong tide worked to free the sperm whale.
'The UK Border Force spotted the stricken animal and contacted Maritime and Coastguard Agency experts who assessed the situation.
'We worked to make the public aware of the whale while there was a possibility of it becoming stranded, before attempting to remove it.'
A spokesman from Fish and Wildlife told the Evening Standard: 'It is certainly not common for sperm whales to be seen so close to the channel, and it is even rarer to find them in freshwater.
'There has not been a sperm whale in the Thames for a few decades.'
The male humpback had clambered out of the shallow tidal waters of the River Thames near Parsons Green in London last week only to be dragged under by strong tides
The deadly mammal is a member of the whales family that is the largest family on the planet, the largest and most important of all the whales. It has the smallest brain size of any whale at around 2,300 cubic metres - about the same as that of a kidney, and its largest marine feeding period is about six months.
Two whales had washed up on the Sussex coast last month. One, a six-metre-long orca, died.
Experts said it had died after becoming stuck on rocks near Hastings on the day it was discovered.