Relocating animals in captivity is challenging and needs a great deal of responsibility, but transporting two beluga whales to another continent during a pandemic is as impossible as it sounds. Despite this, these two whales, known as Little Grey and Little White, were freed from captivity and sent to Iceland as part of a two-year relocation experiment.
The creatures were rescued from Shanghai’s Ocean World water park. Both whales were captured off the coast of Russia when they were quite young and sent to a Chinese aquarium.
The Sea Life Trust organization relocated them to the Beluga Whale Refuge, the world’s first open water sanctuary.
Despite the 6,000-mile trek, everything was meticulously planned and executed with remarkable success by the company. For the first time in over a decade, these organisms will feel the seawater in their bodies.
Both 12-year-old creatures landed safely in Klettsvik Bay, according to the group, and it is only a matter of time before they are released into the open water region.
Audrey Padgett, the Shrine’s general manager, told CNN:
“It’s been a long road for these two. It hasn’t been easy, but it has unquestionably been a labor of love.”
The notion of relocating the whales arose after Merlin Entertainments purchased the aquarium, as the corporation is opposed to keeping the creatures in captivity. This is how the best way to carry the two females, who weigh about 4,000 pounds and eat 110 pounds of fish every day, was created.
The process needed specially specialized transporting equipment, veterinarians, and sufficient of ice and water to keep them wet.
The whales were placed on special slings with foam matting customized to their body proportions for the voyage to Iceland. All to soften the impacts of the convoluted route that included a truck, a Boeing cargo jet, and a port tugboat.
The crew in charge had previously done numerous rehearsals with the animals before to the trip, so they were familiar to the movement.
Throughout the voyage, you could see how happy both whales were since all they did was grin and play games with their rescuers.
Little Grey was characterized by the crew as lively with a wicked side; he likes to spew water on everyone. Little White, on the other hand, is more quiet and peaceful, yet she nonetheless made extremely friendly ties with the caretakers and never stopped playing with them.
After the whole process, and despite the obstacles caused by the epidemic, both whales arrived safely at their destination.
The Sea Life Trust’s director, Andy Bool, told the Daily Mail:
“We are overjoyed to be able to report that Little Grey and Little White are secure in their marine sanctuary care pools and are just one step away from being released into their open water habitat.”
Andy went on:
“Following significant preparation and testing, the first stage of his return to the water went as smoothly as we had hoped.”
It should be mentioned that this operation was made possible by a considerable gift made to the charity by the firm that runs the aquarium. Both cetaceans’ journey is far from complete, as they will spend many days in pools to adjust to the chilly temperature of Iceland.