A second of the five beluga whales that Mystic Aquarium imported from an Ontario theme park in May is in poor health, according to the aquarium. The news comes three weeks after a male beluga who was part of the group that arrived from Marineland in the Niagara Region died at Mystic, a whale research aquarium.
The second whale, a female, is suffering from a variety of health difficulties, including a low white blood cell count and gastrointestinal problems, according to a Facebook post from the aquarium.
In a social media post, Mystic wrote, “The veterinarian team is watching the (female) beluga around the clock and is researching every therapy option available to help her recover.” “In addition, the Mystic Aquarium has contacted beluga experts from across the country who are traveling to the institution to assist with the crisis.”
After a lengthy effort to get licenses from both the US and Canada, the whales were brought from Marineland. According to the aquarium, the male whale, who died on Aug. 6, had arrived with a pre-existing gastrointestinal ailment.
Friends of Animals of Connecticut and other campaigners sued the US Commerce Secretary and the National Marine Fisheries Service, which had authorized the study permit, last October to stop the whales from being transported.
The group alleged that the US permit violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the National Environmental Policy Act because officials failed to appropriately assess the potential harm to the belugas from their relocation to Mystic.
In March, a federal judge declined to issue an injunction.