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How the games industry helped save the whales

Beluga whales in sanctuary

2020 saw a huge milestone for WDC and our partners, The SEA LIFE Trust, when beluga whales Little White and Little Grey were able to feel the salt water of their new ocean home for the first time. WDC’s partners in the games industry rallied to help make this project a reality, and to ensure that SEA LIFE TRUST Beluga Whale Sanctuary truly marks the beginning of the end of captivity.

Truly game changing achievements like the beluga sanctuary only become reality through the shared vision and dedication of multiple partners – needing millions of pounds of funding and years of hard work to go from pipe dream to a real and tangible global first in conservation and animal welfare.

The games industry has had a vital role in this, with our expert captivity team being funded through hugely significant contributions from long-term WDC supporters and Ukie members Yogscast and SEGA Europe, as well as 505 Games and Auroch Digital, over the last 4 years. This not only helped to support the creation of the beluga sanctuary and the safe transport of transport of its first two residents, but has also provided a much-needed boost to WDC’s wider captivity work and our Tour Operators campaign – working to ensure that, like we have for Little White and Little Grey, we can ensure a safe future for the 3,500 whales and dolphins still held in captivity all over the world.

To end captivity, we need more sanctuaries where captive whales and dolphins can live the rest of their lives in a large ocean bay without having to perform tricks, or be rehabilitated for return to the wild. This year has been one like no other and many charities have had to scale back their ambitions and projects however thanks to the continued support from the video games industry through tough times, we’ll be continuing this vital work into 2021 and beyond.

To find out more, or to get involved with WDC’s work, drop us a line at [email protected]

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About George Berry

George is a member of WDC's Communications team and website coordinator.

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