Girl_with_a_Dolphin_Fountain CC Nessy-Pic

If you mention whale watching, not too many people will think of London, but an environmental comeback has led to dozens of sightings in the Thames River in the past ten years.

A half century ago, the river was declared “biologically extinct” — meaning, it was so polluted nothing could live in it. Now, with improved water quality, fish have returned and attracted the larger marine animals encouraged by the new food supply.

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In addition to the whales, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) has tallied reports of more than 400 dolphins and porpoises seen swimming in the Thames and hundreds of seals that frequent the river.

“It’s quite sheltered compared with the North Sea, and there is a whole different range of environments and habitats for the marine mammals to use.” Joanna Barker, ZSL’s European conservation projects manager, told the BBC.

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With more than 2,700 marine mammals sighted along the Thames since 2005, its recovery from centuries of industrial pollution seems to be coming along swimmingly.

(READ more at the BBC) — Photos: Diliff, CC; Nessy-Pic, CC

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