Vancouver Aquarium beluga on 'breeding loan' to Florida SeaWorld dies

A beluga whale at Sea World San Diego is pictured in an undated photo from the park's website.
Image Credit: seaworldparks.com

VANCOUVER - A beluga whale from the Vancouver Aquarium that had been living at a SeaWorld in Florida has died.

Orlando SeaWorld posted a statement on its Facebook page Friday confirming the death of Nanuq, a male beluga estimated to be around 31 or 32 years old.

SeaWorld says Nanuq was being treated by veterinarians for an infection associated with a fractured jaw, an injury that resulted from an "interaction between two animals that were part of a compatible social group."

The cause of death is not yet known, and a post-mortem examination has been scheduled, although results are not expected for six to eight weeks.

The Vancouver Aquarium says Nanuq was transferred to Orlando in 1997, as part of a co-operative program to manage the genetic diversity of belugas in human care.

The aquarium says that in 1995 Nanuq sired a female beluga named Qila, who continues to live at the Vancouver Aquarium, and staff are deeply saddened by the death.


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