These two beluga whales have been performing for spectators at a water park in China for the last 7 years – but soon, they will be the residents of the world’s first retirement home for oceanic animals in show business.
Little Grey and Little White are the two whales currently living in a concrete tank at Changfeng Ocean World in Shanghai. For years, animal rights activists have been urging the aquarium to rehome the 12-year-old belugas to a healthier, more humane environment – but since the whales have been raised in captivity, they would be unable to survive in the wild.
Thankfully, conservation group Sea Life Trust has come up with the perfect solution.
The organization is transforming a rocky oceanic inlet into the world’s first open sea sanctuary for whales and dolphins.
Located off the coast of Heimaey, an island in Iceland, the bay is the perfect size and depth for the belugas at 344,000 square feet (32,000 square meters).
The whales are due to be moved to the sanctuary in March 2019. As it is being prepared for the belugas, Little Grey and Little White are undergoing essential survival skill training that will help them thrive in the wild.
The journey ahead may involve dozens of challenges, but wild belugas typically live for up to 40 or 50 years. If they adapt to their new home, then they could enjoy several more decades of life in their proper habitat.
Additionally, the sanctuary could then welcome more retiring aquatic performers in the future.
(WATCH the video below) – Photo by Sea Life Trust
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