Beluga Whales Rescued After Decade Of Captivity In China
Two beluga whales have been rescued from ten years of captivity in China, and taken to the world’s first open water sanctuary in Iceland.
The 12-year-old whales — called Little Grey and Little White — were taken from Ocean World in Shanghai, where they had been forced to perform tricks for visitors since 2011.
British charity Sea Life Trust organized the rescue, which involved transporting the beluga whales over 6,000 miles to their new home.
“Open Water Home”
“We’re absolutely delighted to be able to share the news that Little Grey and Little White are safely in their sea sanctuary care pools and are just one step away from being released into their open water home,” said Andy Bool, Head of the Sea Life Trust.
“Following extensive planning and rehearsals, the first stage of their release back to the ocean was as smooth as we had hoped and planned for.”
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The two female whales were taken by Ocean World from a research centre in Russia in 2011, where they have been captive ever since.
The whales’ journey to freedom involved the use of a lorry, a cargo aircraft, and a harbour tugboat, with custom slings being made to hold the sea animals during transportation.
Little Grey is described as “very playful” with a “mischievous side,” with Little White said to be the more reserved of the two.
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Tags: animal rescue, beluga whales, captive animals, Iceland, Little Grey, Little White, Ocean World, Sea Life Trust, Shanghai, whales