Two whales Little Gray and Little White were rescued from captivity and sent to Iceland under a special resettlement program. Moving animals in the midst of a pandemic was quite a complex process
. The whales were rescued from Shanghai, China’s Ocean World water park, where they were brought after being caught and off the coast of Russia in 2011.
The 6,000 mile journey was well organized. The Sea Life Trust charity has moved two whales to the world’s first open water sanctuary for beluga whales. For the first time in many years, they got the opportunity to feel the sea in their bodies.
Audrey Padgett, Sanctuary’s general manager, told CNN that the 12-year-old animals have been safely delivered and will soon be released into the wild.
Recently, Merlin Entertainments purchased the aquarium and the opportunity to rescue the creatures from captivity appeared. It was the only way to carry two females weighing about 4,000 pounds and eating 110 pounds of fish every day.
A large amount of water, ice and equipment was required to carry out the transportation.
The whales were placed in special slings with foam mats to soften the impact of the confusing route. For their transportation, a truck, a Boeing cargo plane and a port tug were used.
The whales underwent special mobility training before their journey.
The director Sea Life Trust charity told the Daily Mail, “We are happy to announce that Little Gray and Little White are safe and very soon will be in their natural habitat.”
This operation was funded by the aquarium owner’s company. The whales will stay in the pools for a few more days to adapt to the cold climate of Iceland, and only then they will be released into the wild.
And now they need acclimatization. Due to the hard work of so many people, they will return to the life they truly deserve.