We wanted to let you know that the planned move back into the wild sea sanctuary for belugas, Little White and Little Grey has had to be postponed.
Little White and Little Grey spent four months in the ocean at the SEA LIFE TRUST Beluga Whale sanctuary in 2020, and the return into their landside facilities was planned to be just for the winter season. But, following a series of significant supply chain issues driven by the coronavirus pandemic, the necessary, critical works/adaptations to the sanctuary won’t be able to be completed before the beluga whales can return to it.
During their time in the bay last year the data revealed differences in some of their behaviours and the pace at which each whale was adapting to changes in the natural environment. Little Grey adapted quickly to the main bay, adjusting to new things like rain and wind. But Little White adapted at a slower pace, and transition into the bay was a more significant step than originally envisaged. So their expert care team made the decision to build an intermediate habitat in the bay to help bring about a safe and successful transition for the whales from the sea care pools to the main bay. This habitat will help to create an additional step for both Little Grey and Little White to transition into the bay in their own time.
Little Grey and Little White’s welfare will always be the top priority. The intermediate habitat is an important and necessary stepping stone for the transition of Little White (and other beluga whales in the future) and they will both move back as soon as the works have been completed and the weather is right in spring 2022.