Beluga whale on loan to Seaworld dies in fight with other whales

Sinead Moore
Beluga whale on loan to Seaworld dies in fight with other whales
Beluga whale on loan to Seaworld dies in fight with other whales




A beluga whale that was on loan to SeaWorld in Orlando has died after fracturing his jaw.

Nanuq, who is estimated to be between 31 and 32-years-old was on loan from Vancouver Aquarium.

He entertained millions of visitors at the theme park and was a favourite with celebrities including Will Ferrell.

Nanuq recently fractured his jaw following an "interaction" with two of the three beluga whales he lived with and later developed an infection, reports the Daily Mail.

Nanuq was undergoing treatment for the infection at the time of his death.

However, a post-mortem examination has been arranged to confirm the exact cause of death.

According to Global News, Nanuq was transferred from Vancouver to SeaWorld in 1997.

SeaWorld paid tribute to Nanuq in a Facebook statement saying: "Fans, please join us in remembering one of our favorite beluga whales, Nanuq. An older whale, [he] passed away yesterday at the estimated age of 31-32.

'As an ambassador for all arctic animals, he has delighted millions of visitors to our Wild Arctic attraction, and has been part of the SeaWorld family since 1997.

'Nanuq was a wonderful whale and dearly loved by his trainers and our vets, as well as guests."

The death of Nanuq renews the debate over whether cetaceans should be bred in captivity, reports CBC News.

"The conversation has obviously been brought back to the table," said Vancouver Park Board commissioner Michael Wiebe.

"Nanuq was someone who I used to see as a kid, because I was a Vancouver Aquarium member. It's important, and so we will look at how it was being treated and what the practices are and what we could do to make it better."

SeaWorld has been under fire since the release of the film Blackfish which crticised the park's treatment of killer whales.

Since its release, attendance has declined at the company's parks in Orlando, San Diego, California and San Antonio, Texas.

SeaWorld's chief executive Jim Atchison has since stepped down.

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Playful Beluga Whale Teases Kids


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