World’s First Open-Water Beluga Sanctuary Is Opening in Iceland with Two Adorable Whales

Beluga Whale Swimming Undersea

Stock Photos from Luna Vandoorne/Shutterstock

This spring, two beluga whales called Little Grey and Little White will travel from Changfeng Ocean World aquarium in Shanghai, China to the world’s first beluga whale sanctuary in Iceland. The marine and animal welfare project led by the SEA LIFE Trust in partnership with Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) is a significant step towards protecting the species and ending whale and dolphin captivity shows.

Beluga Sanctuary on the Icelandic island of Heimaey features a large natural sea inlet where the two female beluga whales will be able to enjoy their new lives close to their natural Arctic habitat. The 6,000-mile journey will take around 30 hours and will involve traveling by air, land, and sea. If you’re wondering about the whale’s physical and mental health during the stressful journey, a team of veterinary specialists will be on hand to provide the best of care. The sanctuary has been sharing updates of how the whales are doing on Twitter. As of writing, Little Grey and Little White are currently preparing for their journey by going through fitness training and eating a special diet to help them survive in the colder environment.

The sanctuary says, “By demonstrating that captive belugas can be relocated from aquariums and brought into a more natural, wild environment where they can behave more naturally, the project team hope to inspire other facilities holding whales and dolphins to seek an alternative future for these amazing creatures.”

You can find out more about Beluga Sanctuary and donate to the cause on the SEA LIFE Trust website.

These beluga whales, called Little Grey and Little White, are preparing to become residents the world’s first beluga whale sanctuary in Iceland.

They will travel all the way from Changfeng Ocean World aquarium in Shanghai, China.

The sanctuary features a large natural sea inlet close to their natural Arctic habitat.

SEA LIFE Trust / Beluga Sanctuary: Website | Facebook | Twitter
h/t: [Travel + Leisure]

All images via SEA LIFE Trust / Beluga Sanctuary.

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