Lifestyle Pets Whale Spotted Swimming In London's River Thames Dies, Evidence Shows Animal Was Hit by a Ship Officials are uncertain if the ship hit the humpback whale before or after the animal's death By Kelli Bender Kelli Bender Kelli Bender is the Pets Editor for PEOPLE Digital and PEOPLE magazine. She has been with the PEOPLE brand for more than eight years, working as a writer/producer across PEOPLE's Lifestyle, Features, and Entertainment verticals before taking on her current role. Kelli is also an editor on PEOPLE's Stories to Make You Smile and serves as an editorial lead on PEOPLE's World's Cutest Rescue Dog Contest and Pet Product Awards. Before joining PEOPLE, Kelli helped AOL and Whalerock launch a pet lifestyle site called PawNation. She is a pet parent to a cat named Wallace, and her professional and personal devotion to animals has taken her to three dog weddings ... so far. People Editorial Guidelines Published on October 9, 2019 03:51 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Zoological Society of London The wayward humpback whale spotted swimming in London’s River Thames has died. According to the BBC, the young female whale died several days after first being seen. Her body was found on mudflats near Greenhithe, England on Tuesday. Zoological Society of London (ZSL), along with officials from the U.K. Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme and Port of London Authority performed a post-mortem examination on the whale and determined the mammal was hit by a ship, though it is unclear if the strike occurred before or after the whale’s death. 5 Whales Die After Stranding Themselves on Hawaii Beach with 5 Other Whales The British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) told the BBC that the ocean dweller likely ended up in the Thames due to a navigational error. It is uncommon for humpback whales to end up stranded along the U.K. coast, according to ZSL, but humpback strandings appear to be on the rise. There have been five humpback whale strandings in the U.K. so far this year, up from the 1 to 2 strandings that usually occur annually. RELATED VIDEO: People in Chile Carved Graffiti into Beached Whale’s Body and Took Photos on Top of the Carcass ZSL plans to continue their post-mortem examinations in hopes of finding more answers on what caused the humpback whale to enter the Thames and what killed the animal, reports The Guardian.