For almost 10 years, “Little Grey” and “Little White” haven’t dipped their flippers into the sea. Until now.
After traveling 6,000 miles from an aquarium in China, the two beluga whales have been moved to the world’s first open-water whale sanctuary for belugas in Iceland, the SEA LIFE Trust confirmed in a Sunday press release.
“We’re absolutely delighted to be able to share the news that Little Grey and Little White are safely in their sea sanctuary care pools and are just one step away from being released into their wider open water home,” stated Andy Bool, Head of SEA LIFE Trust.
“It’s been quite the journey for these two,” Audrey Padgett, the Beluga Whale Sanctuary’s general manager, told CNN on a video call in front of the belugas.
“It hasn’t been easy, but it’s definitely been a labor of love.”
“Beautiful and expressive, beluga whales are known as the canaries of the sea,” writes WDC. “But like the fate of many a songbird, belugas are continually exploited and held captive for human entertainment.”
Both Little Grey and Little White are now about 12 years old, Live Science reports and expected to live into their 40s. The new Icelandic sanctuary may be their home for years to come.
“It’s kind of the finish line for these two but it’s a new chapter for belugas around the world.”