Over the last month, there has been a flurry of movement between marine parks in the U.S. as several captive-held belugas have been shifted among facilities. This appears to be an attempt to mix up males and females and advance captive breeding efforts, after a 2015 court decision denied the Georgia Aquarium and other parks permission to import 18 wild-caught belugas from Russia.
After being stalled in the Canadian Senate since November 2017, a bill that would ban whale and dolphin captivity in Canada is finally moving forward. If S-203 passes the Senate, it will be voted on by Parliament and be one step closer to becoming law.
I’m delighted to introduce our fourth guest blog from supporter, Oliver Dirr, who has been travelling round the world, watching whales and sharing his best experiences with us! Read on for his account of watching belugas from land in Quebec.
Georgia Aquarium recently announced the pregnancy of a young beluga whale held at their facility. Qinu, just shy of 10 years old, was born in 2008 at SeaWorld San Antonio, and is expected to give birth to her first calf in late fall. The last beluga calf born at the Georgia Aquarium died after less than a month, and
WDC is continuing to work with Merlin Entertainments in an effort to find a location for a natural sea sanctuary in order to remove three belugas currently housed in Merlin’s Chang Feng Ocean World aquarium in Shanghai, China. Despite many obstacles and months of work to find a location off the coast of Russia (where the belugas were born in the wild), it has not proved possible to find a suitable location there and the search is now focussing on other potential cold water sites for the sanctuary. Finding the right site for the sanctuary is critical for the welfare of the belugas.
The latest beluga whale calf to be born at the Georgia Aquarium has died, less than a month old. Its mother, a whale named Maris, gave birth on May 10th but after failing to gain weight during its critical early weeks, the calf did not survive. Initial diagnosis suggests that it was suffering from gastrointestinal issues.
A necropsy (post-mortem) has revealed that the death of Nanuq, the beluga whale that died in February at SeaWorld, was caused by an infection in a fractured jaw. This followed an "interaction" with another whale, according to SeaWorld.
Nanuq was on a long-term breeding loan from the Vancouver Aquarium when the incident occured.
Oil company, TransCanada has brought a halt to construction of a terminal on a major pipeline along the St. Lawrence River in Canada following growing fears for a nearby population of endangered beluga whales.