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Beluga Whales Enjoy Their First Swim in the Sea After Their Rescue

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: September 28, 2020 11:50 pm

beluga sea life sanctuary

Little grey being moved to the sanctuary last month

Photo Credit: Aaron Chown PA Wire

A pair of beluga whales rescued from an aquarium have been able to enjoy their first swim in the open ocean. Little grey and little white are the first residents at the SEA LIFE Trust beluga whale sanctuary.

In August the pair were moved to their bayside care pool where they have been acclimating to sea water. Following good progress in the care pool they were released in to the larger sanctuary pool today for their first swim. This represents the first step in a carefully managed welfare program to help introduce the whales gradually into their much larger sanctuary home.

Under the watch of their expert care team the whales will be gradually introduced to the bay. In between they will return to the care pool where their health and well-being can be assessed and monitored.

Andy Bool, Head of SEA LIFE Trust, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled by the progress that Little Grey and Little White have made since moving to their bayside care pools. They are feeding and acclimatizing well to the more natural surroundings as well as all of the outdoor elements. We are introducing them gradually to the bay in little steps, but seeing them swim together and deep dive amongst the flora and fauna of the wider bay for the first time was amazing to witness and gave us a real sense that Little Grey and Little White are enjoying being back in the sea.”

— AD —

Vision of the belugas as they enjoy their first swim in the ocean.

Video Credit: SEA LIFE Trust

The beluga whale sanctuary is a first of its kind project established by the SEA LIFE Trust and funded through a donation from Merlin Entertainments.

It was created in partnership with Whale and Dolphin and Conservation (WDC) and is regarded as one of the biggest developments in captive whale and dolphin care in decades.

Cathy Williamson, WDC’s End Captivity programme lead said; “We’re delighted that Little Grey and Little White are now exploring the wider bay and adapting well to their new, natural, stimulating environment. WDC has been on this journey with Merlin Entertainments and the SEA LIFE Trust from the beginning and we are truly honoured to be a partner to the world’s first whale sanctuary. As well as providing an exciting home for Little Grey and Little White, we look forward to welcoming other belugas here and encouraging the development of sanctuaries in other parts of the world.”

The journey of Little Grey and Little White as they return to the ocean is being turned in to a two part documentary by Plimsoll Productions. It will be screened in the UK on ITV during October.

Learn more about the SEA LIFE Trust Beluga Sanctuary on their website – Beluga Sanctuary

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