Two Beluga Whales are Transported from Captivity in China to Swim in the Sea for the First Time

 

For the first time in over a decade, two beluga whales have been relocated to Iceland, where they will be able to live freely in the open sea.
Little Grey and Little White flew 6,000 kilometers from Chengfeng Ocean World, where they had been educated to perform in front of crowds. In June of this year, they flew for around 30 hours to the Beluga Sanctuary on Heimaey Island, which is maintained by the British organization Sea Life Trust.

The two 12-year-old female whales landed safely in Klettsvik Bay, where they will spend some time in a bayside care pool to adapt before being released into the larger sanctuary, according to the organization.

Credit: PA

Klettsvik Bay, located off the south coast of Iceland in the Westman Islands, is the world’s first open water sanctuary for beluga whales. Little Grey and Little White will be released into the water for the first time since they were captured from a Russian whale research center in 2011.

“We’re incredibly happy to be able to share the news that Little Grey and Little White are securely in their marine sanctuary care pools and are just one step away from being released into their broader open water habitat,” said Andy Bool, CEO of Sea Life Trust.

“The initial stage of their release back into the water went as smoothly as we had expected and planned after significant preparation and rehearsing.

“Our experienced care staff and veterinarians are closely watching Little Grey and Little White, and we want to announce their final discharge as soon as possible.”

Beluga whales, sometimes known as sea canaries because of their high-pitched sounds, are not endangered, although they are endangered due to poaching, commercial whaling, and climate change.

source: ITVnews