Just six months after the loss of a whale called Havok, another beluga has died at the Mystic Aquarium in the US. Both belugas had been transported to the US from Marineland in Ontario, Canada in May 2021, along with three other individuals.
The facility reported on its Facebook page that the female beluga, who has not been named yet, had been treated for health problems for several months. Meanwhile another beluga continues to undergo medical treatment. Six belugas remain at the Mystic Aquarium. They are between seven and twelve years old. Which of the four female belugas has now died and which individual is receiving medical treatment has not been made public. Havok was just six years old when he died.
WDC spoke out against the planned transport of the five belugas from Canada to the USA in 2019 and warned of the dangers for the belugas. Any transport is extremely stressful for the sensitive marine mammals and involves great risks. Canadian law no longer allows whales and dolphins to be kept in captivity, but there is an exemption for the export of individuals already held for research purposes.
WDC will continue to work to end the captivity of whales and dolphins. Together with the SeaLife Trust, WDC has established the world's first beluga sanctuary in Iceland and is working with partners to establish other sanctuaries. There, individuals from dolphinariums can spend a life in a more natural environment or, in some cases, be prepared for a return to the ocean.