Featured Image Credit: Vancouver Aquarium
A male beluga calf is in intensive care at the Alaska SeaLife Center. Members of the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal care team along with experts from accredited aquariums across North America are working together to bring this little guy back to full health.
The calf was found near Trading Bay in Western Cook Inlet on Saturday, September 30 stranded alone and struggling to survive. He was then transported to the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, under a permit by National Oceanic and the Atmospheric Administration Office (NOAA) for 24-hour critical care. Caregivers have estimated that he is two to four weeks old and is one of about 340 whales left in the endangered Cook Inlet beluga whale population.
Operate marine mammal rescue centers are deployed when a cetacean, a whale or dolphin, is in need of human assistance to give it the best chance of survival. For the baby beluga, Vancouver Aquarium mammal curator Brian Sheehan is on site with the team in Alaska working around the clock to provide intensive care for the calf.
The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre is the only hospital for sick, injured or orphaned marine mammals in Canada. It rescues, rehabilitates and releases more than 100 animals each year. This year alone, the Centre has rescued almost 200 animals. Their goal is to return each mammal to the wild as soon as possible.
The veterinary team also provides medical treatment to harbor seals, sea otters, sea lions, sea turtles, elephant seals, whales, dolphins, and porpoises.