AFP – June 20, 2019
Two beluga whales from a Shanghai aquarium have arrived in
live out their days in a unique marine sanctuary that
conservationists hope will become a model for rehoming 3,000 of the
creatures currently in captivity.
Little Grey and Little White, two 12-year-old female belugas,
left behind their previous lives entertaining visitors at the
Changfeng Ocean World and were flown across the globe in specially
The whales, which each weigh about 900kg and are four metres
long, will continue their epic journey by truck and ferry to the
sanctuary at Klettsvik Bay at Heimaey, one of the Westman Islands
off the south coast of Iceland.
The conservation charity Sea Life Trust, which has
been at the forefront of the project, said the bay is the world’s
first open water beluga sanctuary and had been selected to
“provide a more natural sub-Arctic environment and wilder habitat
for these amazing whales to call home”.
I got to visit these two belugas on Heimay while participating
in an Earthwatch expedition studying Iceland’s Orcas and to see
the area they are planning to use to home them. One of the keepers
came and spoke about the challenges and rewards of working with
Little Grey and Little White. There are many conditions that need
to align for this to be a successful projet, but the team is
working to make the transition successful, and I’m hopeful that
these two are able to florish in their new home.
Source: Animals, animals, animals
Two whales flown from Shanghai aquarium to sanctuary…