The first seaside sanctuary would bring five to eight “retired” beluga whales to a 40-hectare area (just under half a square km) enclosed by netting. Vinick said it would include a shoreline animal care facility, require regular delivery of frozen fish to feed the belugas and create local jobs.
Marino, a researcher who’s spent 30 years studying whales and dolphins, said their intelligence and social nature means they “suffer intensely” in marine parks where they live in display tanks.
“Those lives are short, stressful and unhealthy, and the only way to end their suffering is to relocate them to a more natural environment, to a permanent seaside sanctuary where they can receive expert care in a natural environment that serves their needs,” she said.
The whales, she explained, never learned survival skills and have exclusively eaten frozen fish provided by humans. They’d face certain death if released into the wild, which is why she believes it’s important to give them a more peaceful place to live out their remaining years.
“When they feel the ocean, when they see the sky above them and feel the tides and the waves and they see things on the bottom that they’ve never seen before, that’s giving back to them something that was taken from them,” Marino said.
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Absolutely. This is an ideal place. 84.5% (229 votes)
No. It is not a realistic idea. 4.43% (12 votes)
Not sure. Do we have the expertise to manage it properly?