2 former captive beluga whales released into open water sanctuary

International

KLETTSVIK BAY, Iceland (WFLA/NBC) – Two former captive beluga whales, named Little Grey and Little White, have taken their first swim in their new open water sanctuary home in Iceland.

Last Thursday, the whales explored the bay of the island for the first time, carefully monitored by their care team as part of their gradual release into their much larger sanctuary home.

The United Kingdom-based charity Sea Life Trust said the whales had been making good progress since moving into their bayside care pools in August and had been feeding and acclimatizing well to the more natural surroundings.

The release program will see the whales continue to be introduced to the bay, which is around 8 acres in size, with a depth of up to 30 feet, while their health and well-being is monitored on a daily basis.

The two whales arrived in Iceland from China last year and were first trained in an indoor pool to adapt to their new life in a more natural habitat.

Trainers introduced the whales to the different flora and fauna they will experience in the bay and prepared them to use rocks to exfoliate, as well as adding more blubber for the cool, sub-Arctic weather.

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