Two Beluga Whales Are Rescued From Performing As Show Animals in China

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Beluga Whale

Also known as the white whales, the beluga whale is one of the most recognizable of all whales. After they are born, the calves have a brown-gray (sometimes brown) color. After they mature (5 years old) they become a fade to white. Their foreheads are round and they have no dorsal fin.

They are one of the smallest whale species with a length ranging from 13-20 feet.

Typically, you will find the beluga whales in the Arctic Ocean’s coastal waters. However, they can also be found in subarctic waters. When the sea freezes over, the Arctic belugas migrate southward. If there are any unlucky to not migrate before the sea freezes, they can become prey for polar bears and indigenous people. Additionally, these whales typically group up in small numbers called pods.

Little Grey and Little White

For almost a decade, Ocean World in Shanghai had a very magnificent pair of beluga whales performing tricks for audiences. These two beauties were called Little Grey and Little White and are both female belugas. During the performances, they will perform tricks in exchange for food – fish.

However, their sad life didn’t start there. Before being transferred to Shanghai, the pair was part of a Russian research center.

Sea Life Trust, a UK-based charity, finally rescued the two belugas after being years away from the sea. The charity organized their travel and shipped them to Iceland where they can swim in the open ocean.

Transport to Iceland

Even though Sea Life Trust planned out everything about their transport to Iceland, the procedure was still difficult. Little Grey and Little White had to be put in specifically designed slings made to protect their body. After getting out of the aquarium, the pair had to survive in a lorry and later a Boeing 747-400ERF cargo aircraft. Later, they had to go with a harbor tugboat to reach refuge in Klettsvik Bay (south coast of Iceland). Lastly, the two belugas had to be released in the massive sanctuary to enjoy the rest of their lives in the ocean.

Thankfully, the plan worked out as perfectly as it could and now the two belugas are safe and sound in Iceland. All they need now is some time to pass to get used to their new environment before being released into the wider sanctuary in Klettsvik Bay. The vets and the expert team claimed that both the whales are healthy and feeding.

Sources: www.nationalgeographic.com

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