But moving two beluga whales to another continent in the midst of a pandemic is as challenging as it sounds. Relocating captive animals is laborious and demanding. Despite this, a two-year relocation initiative resulted in the liberation of these two whales, known as Little Gray and Little White, and their transport to Iceland.
The creatures were saved from Shanghai, China’s Ocean World water park. Both whales were transferred to the Chinese aquarium in 2011 after being captured off the coast of Russia when they were still quite young.
The Beluga Whale Refuge, the first open-water sanctuary in the world, was where they were relocated by the nonprofit Sea Life Trust.
Despite the 6,000-mile distance, the group meticulously planned the trip and executed it with tremendous success. These organisms will experience the seawater in their body for the first time in over ten years.
The group said that both 12-year-old creatures arrived in Klettsvik Bay without incident and that their release into the wide ocean is just a question of time.
The Sanctuary’s general manager, Audrey Padgett, said to CNN:
“For these two, the road has been pretty long. Although it hasn’t been simple, it has unquestionably been a labor of love.”
After Merlin Entertainments acquired the aquarium, the idea to relocate the whales was conceived since this business is opposed to keeping the creatures in captivity. The ideal approach to move the two ladies, who together weigh approximately 4,000 pounds and eat 110 pounds of fish per day, started to be arranged in this manner.
Veterinarians were needed for the surgery, as well as a lot of ice and water to keep the animals wet.
The whales were placed in custom slings with foam matting that matched their body proportions for the journey to Iceland. A truck, a Boeing cargo jet, and a port tug were all used in the difficult voyage to soften the impacts.