A pair of beluga whales is finally free! Little Grey and Little White, two beluga whales that were in a Chinese aquarium for 8 years made it to their new sanctuary in Iceland.

A delicate journey during normal times, much less a pandemic, the animals are now safe in an 8 acre sanctuary, enjoying the ocean for the first time since 2011.

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Audrey Padgett, the Beluga Whale Sanctuary’s general manager, spoke to CNN about the journey. “It’s been quite the journey for these two. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s definitely been a labor of love.”

After the belugas‘ aquarium was purchased by a company that didn’t allow whale or dolphin captivity, the two whales had the chance to return to the ocean, thanks to the Sea Life Trust charity.

The two whales were moved in a carefully designed transit operation that required lots of fish, ice and water. The belugas are now in a holding space in Iceland so they can get adjusted to colder waters before the final move to the 8 acre sanctuary.

Source: ITV News

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Padgett spoke about animals in captivity, “Some belugas are in cramped and unsuitable conditions. And if what we can learn here from Little White and Little Grey can help improve welfare for other animals … that’s really the point.”

Dolphins and whales in captivity subject to stressful human interactions cause them physical and mental suffering. Dolphins in parks are confined to small tanks, which increase aggression and reduce necessary mental stimulation.

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You can also sign this petition to ban dolphin captivity!

Read more about dolphins in captivity in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

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