Thames dolphin
Officers at London's Marine Policing Unit took this picture of the 'Thames dolphin' MPS/Twitter

The dolphin which grabbed everyone's attention after it was first spotted in the River Thames nine days ago has been found dead after getting beached on the foreshore.

The "Thames Dolphin" got into difficulty near Wandsworth Bridge and was spotted struggling on land. It was later found dead on Tuesday, 7 November.

The mammal was first spotted on 30 October at Putney and Wandsworth. Many people also claimed to have seen it in Hammersmith, Greenwich, and Chiswick.

According to the police, the dolphin would have swum past popular landmarks such as Tower Bridge and Big Ben to get to Wandsworth, which is around 25 kilometres from the mouth of the river Thames.

Michael White, a roofer who works at a building site on the Thames, told The Standard that he and his colleagues saw the mammal get stuck on Monday evening.

"I phoned a number given for stranded animals and reported what had happened. I explained to them that it was beached in shallow water.

"But they did not do anything about it so when we came back on Tuesday morning it was dead," White was quoted as saying by the Standard.

However, White added that he "can't know 100 percent" that it was the same animal he had spotted swimming around.

The Metropolitan Police's marine team confirmed the death of the dolphin and wrote on their Twitter page: "Sad to tell you that a dead Common #Dolphin was washed up on the foreshore at Wandsworth yesterday.

"Our friends at @ZSLMarine will carry out tests to determine why it was in fresh water. There may be others so keep an eye out & report any sightings."

The animal welfare experts on Monday had said that they were monitoring the animal. They confirmed that the animal was a dolphin and not a porpoise, which is more commonly seen in rivers.

A British Divers Marine Life Rescue spokesman on Wednesday said that they were waiting for the post-mortem to be carried out before they could determine how the dolphin died.