Two belugas released into whale sanctuary

Posted by Imogen Searra on 11 August 2020

Two beluga whales, Little Grey and Little White, were transported from China to a care facility in Iceland in 2019. The pair were captured by a Russian whale research centre in 2011 and relocated to a water park in China.

The animals have not been in the ocean since their capture. A year after their relocation from China, the animals have been released into a section of the sanctuary in order to acclimatise.

Two belugas released into whale sanctuary

Little Grey and Little White

Experts have had to constantly assess the area. The seabeds, water quality, noise levels, and wave and swell levels were all tested in order to ensure the safe relocation of the pair.

Read: Iceland creates world’s first whale sanctuary

Once they are used to their new environment, they will be released into the larger sanctuary in Klettsvik Bay off the south coast of Iceland.

The sanctuary is located in a secluded natural inlet in Klettsvik Bay on Heimaey Island. The water is approximately 9m deep and the area spans 3.2km. The area is enclosed by netting.

The animals were transported by truck and tugboat and were carried in slings, according to BBC.

The Sea Life Trust were responsible for looking after the two whales and confirmed that the animals are safe and getting used to their home, according to BBC.

‘We can now announce the fantastic news that Little White & Little Grey are safely in the bay! They will stay in the sea sanctuary care pools for a short amount of time to acclimatise until they are ready to move out into the wider bay,’ said Sea Life Trust.

Watch below to see the animals in their new home:

Image credit: Facebook/ Sea Life Trust Beluga Whale Sanctuary


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