Two beluga whales – Little Grey and Little White, have been rescued by a British charity after spending years performing in a Chinese aquarium. Now, they are getting used to their new life as free animals.
Little Grey and Little White were still very young when they were captured off the coast of Russia in 2011. Since then, they knew nothing else but to perform for people in the aquarium. But charity Sea Life Trust finally managed to rescue the animals and transfer them to their Beluga Whale Sanctuary in Iceland amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The two 12-year-old female beluga whales safely arrived at Klettsvik Bay. They will stay at the bayside care pool for a short time to acclimatize first before being released to the wider sanctuary. Klettsvik Bay is known to be the first open water sanctuary in belugas in the world.
“It’s been quite the journey for these two,” Audrey Padgett, the Beluga Whale Sanctuary’s general manager told CNN on a video call interview. “It hasn’t been easy, but it’s definitely been a labor of love.”
There are more than 300 belugas in captivity around the world. While they are not considered an endangered species, the animals are still at risk due to loss of habitat. Humans continue building on and along coastlines, and pollution makes the water warmer and dirtier for these creatures.
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