SeaLife Center Rescues Beluga Calf
Male calf was stranded near cannery in Bristol Bay
ALASKA - A male beluga calf who refused to return to the open ocean, near the Diamond O Cannery in Naknek, was flown to the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward on Monday.
The calf was discovered after a large storm, according to a press release, with no other belugas observed nearby. There are five stocks of beluga whales in Alaska; this one was from the Bristol Bay stock. The SeaLife Center received authorization from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to perform a rescue, and the 5-foot long, 110-pound beluga calf was flown to the center.
It's the first beluga ever housed at the SeaLife Center, although the center is equipped with pools capable of holding the whales. It's swimming on its own, which a staff veterinarian says is a good sign, and being fed every two hours with a milk-based mixture designed for beluga calves.
Unlike the Cook Inlet beluga whale stock, the Bristol Bay stock is growing rather than endangered.
To see more photos of the baby beluga, click a thumbnail at left.