The latest beluga whale calf to be born at the Georgia Aquarium has died, less than a month old. Its mother, a whale named Maris, gave birth on May 10th but after failing to gain weight during its critical early weeks, the calf did not survive. Initial diagnosis suggests that it was suffering from gastrointestinal issues.
The death is the latest in a long line of beluga calf deaths in captivity. It comes as the Georgia Aquarium and other captive facilities continue to try to import more beluga whales from Russia despite serious concerns about any conservation benefits and the negative impact this might have on the wild population from which they were captured.
In 2013, the US authorities turned down their original application and the aquarium subsequently appealed against the decision. WDC is one of a number of groups that has provided scientific evidence to support the defence of the decision.