Young Captive Beluga Dies With Objects Blocking Her Airway
A one-year-old beluga, born in captivity, has died at the Vancouver Aquarium. She had a blocked airway and was unable to breathe. Her airway was found to contain a couple of rocks and a penny.
WDCS notes that consumption of foreign objects is a fairly common cause of death among captive cetaceans and has raised concerns about objects entering the pool from visitors dropping or even handing dolphins objects from the side of the pool. Our concerns are explained in detail in relation to petting pools which are found at dolphinaria around the world and the subject of our report Biting the Hand that Feeds www.wdcs.org/submissions_bin/biting_the_hand.pdf
The re-evalution of life expectancy in wild belugas, with previously accepted ageing methods thought to underestimate age by a factor of two, means that wild belugas can live as long as 60 years. In captivity, belugas routinely die before the age of 30 and, according to US government reports on captive belugas, most die in their teens and twenties. In other countries, longevity may be even lower. The beluga who died this week in Vancouver is another sad statistic in the aquarium industry’s treatment of these animals, which continues to rely on wild captures from Russian waters to support their demand for these animals.
For the full story: Beluga Death In Vancouver