From Iceland — Former Captive Beluga Whales Return Successfully To The Sea

Former Captive Beluga Whales Return Successfully To The Sea

Published August 10, 2020

Catherine Magnúsdóttir
Photo by
Aaron Chown PA Wire

Two former captive beluga whales, named Little Grey and Little White, were moved successfully from their landside care facility to their sea sanctuary care pools at Klettsvik Bay, by the Westman Islands, on Friday.

This was confirmed by SEA LIFE Trust, a beluga whale sanctuary, in a press release today. The two whales were transfered to their new refuge at Klettsvík (the first of its kind in the world) at noon on Friday.

Little Grey and Little White are now in a care pool, where they adapt to their new environment before they can finally be released into Klettvík cove, which is located at the mouth of Vestmannaeyjar harbour.

A group of specialists and veterinarians accompanied Little Grey and Little White on their journey. They have confirmed that the beluga whales are in good health and are well fed after this short trip from land to cove.

According to the press release, this is the first time that the beluga whales have been in a natural environment in the ocean since they were transferred from a Russian whale research station in 2011. Little Grey and Little White will be under the constant supervision of experts as they adapt to sea conditions.

Andy Bool, CEO of SEA LIFE Trust, said:

“We are delighted to finally be able to tell you that Little Grey and Little White are in the process of adapting and therefore only one step away from being released into their permanent home. After a lot of trials and tribulations, it can only be said that this all went better than we dared to hope. Adaptation is now under the strict supervision of specialists and veterinarians. I hope that we can soon report on releasing them to the ocean.”

beluga whale

The Sea Life Trust. Photo credit: Aaron Chown PA Wire

The Klettsvík sanctuary is the first of its kind and run by the charity SEA LIFE Trust and was built from a generous donation from Merlin Entertainments. SEA LIFE Trust Shelter is one of the largest projects in the world when it comes to the care and protection of captured whales and dolphins and the first established specifically for that purpose. The project is carried out in collaboration with the international conservation organization Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC).

You can see a video of the story here or below:

Video credit: SEA LIFE Trust

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