Another beluga whale, originally transferred from Marineland, Canada, has died. An announcement by Mystic Aquarium, a Connecticut-based marine park, stated the whale had been suffering from a chronic illness, and was undergoing treatment in their intensive care facility.
“Despite receiving 24/7 intensive care over the past several months for multiple health issues and all life-saving efforts made earlier this morning, the female beluga passed.” ~ Mystic Aquarium, Facebook page
The female whale was one of five belugas transported from Marineland in May 2021, joining three belugas already at the facility. On/around August 6, 2021, one of the transferred whales, a whale named Havok, died from a pre-existing gastrointestinal illness.
According to CP24, a Toronto, Ontario media outlet, “…of the six remaining belugas, Mystic Aquarium says one is in the intensive care unit. The five others are healthy, according to the facility.”
Mystic Aquarium was founded in 1973, with the first beluga whales arriving to the facility two years later, wild caught from the Churchill River in Manitoba. According to the Ceta Base website, at least 10 belugas have died at the facility, and including this latest death, 11.
For close to 50 years, Dolphin Project has advocated for the retirement of captive dolphins and other whales, and release of the mammals, where feasible. Given Mystic’s stated commitment to “…inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through conservation, education and research”*, what better way to do this than to provide for a proper retirement, where formerly captive dolphins and other whales can retire in peace and dignity?
*Source: Mystic Aquarium website
With public opinion shifting away from captive settings, to embrace dolphins and other whales in their natural habitats, we urge Mystic Aquarium to make a sustainable and ethical investment, by moving their remaining beluga whales out of the tanks, and into a proper sanctuary.
Featured image: Captive beluga whales at Marineland, Canada. Credit: Cynthia Fernandez/Dolphin Project