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lewis97
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SEA LIFE TRUST Beluga Whale Sanctuary

Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:34 am

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It's today been announced that SEA LIFE Trust will open a Beluga Whale Sanctuary off the coast of Iceland in Spring 2019 - of course in typical Merlin fashion it has been highlighted as a "world first". The key aspects have been included below, but a lot more information is accessible via the link.



Created in partnership with Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), the SEA LIFE TRUST Beluga Whale Sanctuary is one of the biggest developments in captive whale and dolphin care and protection in decades. It is hoped the project will help to encourage the rehabilitation of more captive whales into natural environments in the future, and one day bring an end to whale and dolphin entertainment shows.

The sanctuary will become the new home to its first residents, two female beluga whales, Little Grey and Little White in Spring 2019.

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Currently located at Changfeng Ocean World in Shanghai, China, Little Grey and Little White will take part in an incredible 6,000-mile journey and will be transported by air, land and sea to a large sanctuary in a natural bay at Heimaey Island, located off the coast of southern Iceland.

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Backed by a donation from Merlin Entertainments and supported by the world’s largest aquarium brand, SEA LIFE, the sanctuary will comprise of a stunning natural sea inlet in Klettsvik Bay and include a landside care facility and visitor centre.

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It's interesting that there is explicit reference made to the hope that more captive whales can be rehabilitated in natural environments going forwards, with the ending of whale and dolphin entertainment shows. Obviously the most high profile example of this has been Sea World, who have taken their own steps to address some of the concerns that have emerged in recent years, especially since Blackfish.
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MakoMania
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Re: SEA LIFE TRUST Beluga Whale Sanctuary

Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:59 am

Merlin have made their opposition to SeaWorld clear for many years, it gives them some good PR and is not based in science or reality.

The term natural environment is misleading, this is esentially just a sea cage, where whales that have spent most if not all of their lives in an aquarium setting will suddely be exposed to foreign pathogens, bacteria and pollution. Their immune systems will be put under absolutely enormous pressure.

This has been in development for years, many in the zoological community have been pushing against it as we feel that whilst it is certainly possible to accomplish, it does not have the best interests of the animals at heart.

It is a project designed to appease animal rights activist organisations and their radical agendas rather than improve the welfare of these Beluga Whales. Merlin and SEA LIFE have made it abundantly clear that their top priority is public image, rather than animal welfare. After all, many of their aquariums are not independently accredited which is concerning.

SeaWorld could easily take the same steps as Merlin to gain some good PR, but thankfully management are listening to the zoological staff in saying that the risks by far outweigh any benefits, of which there are few.

I look forward to work experience at SeaWorld San Antonio this summer, including spending time with their 10 Beluga Whales. I'm glad to be associated with an organisation that doesn't treat the lives of its animals with such carelessness.

It is most concerning that these decisions are being taken by Merlin management, who have zero experience in caring for Beluga Whales.
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Thanks to Nemesis Rider for the signature!

SeaWorld has rescued over 33,000 animals in need!
 
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MakoMania
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Re: SEA LIFE TRUST Beluga Whale Sanctuary

Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:39 am

Whilst this article is not written by a native English speaker and thus contains minor errors, I would encourage anyone interested to have a look:

http://zoos.media/media-echo/worlds-fir ... h/?lang=en
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Thanks to Nemesis Rider for the signature!

SeaWorld has rescued over 33,000 animals in need!

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