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Beluga Dies at SeaWorld Following Injury

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Posted March 2, 2015 by Kim Johnson

Nanuq, a beluga whale at SeaWorld Orlando, has died after fracturing his jaw during an “interaction” with two other whales and later contracting an infection. An examination of Nanuq’s body has been arranged to determine the exact cause of death.

Much like a piece of equipment, Nanuq was "on loan" to SeaWorld for profit.Beluga Whale | Lars Ploughmann | CC BY-SA 2.0

Much like a piece of equipment, Nanuq was “on loan” to SeaWorld for profit.

In 1990, when Nanuq was just 6 years old, he was torn away from his home waters in Manitoba, Canada. In the wild, belugas live together in small groups known as pods. They are social animals and communicate with each other using a language of clicks, whistles, and clangs. But Nanuq was trapped and would never see or communicate with his pod again.

When he was six years old, Nanuq was captured from the wild and sentenced to a stress-filled life in captivity. beluga whale | Karyn Christner | CC BY-2.0

After being captured from his home in wild, Nanuq spent 25 years in cramped tanks.

The Vancouver Aquarium owned Nanqu, but much like a piece of equipment, he was “on loan” to SeaWorld for profit. The sensitive, intelligent whale was shipped five times between various SeaWorld parks, where he was used for breeding and to entertain visitors at the park’s “Beluga Interaction Program.”

SeaWorld profits off of keeping belugas in captivity. Visitors pay $119 per person to participate in the park's "Beluga Interaction Program." flying whale | seaworldSA | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

SeaWorld profits off of keeping belugas in captivity. Visitors pay $119 per person to participate in the park’s “Beluga Interaction Program.”

For two years prior to 2010, Nanuq was part of an intensive experimental artificial insemination program at SeaWorld and was removed from the water approximately 42 times so that workers could collect sperm samples. He has seven living offspring—he fathered 13 babies, but six died at birth or shortly thereafter.

Many belugas at SeaWorld are forced to perform stupid tricks over and over. Beluga Foot Push | seaworldSA | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Many belugas at SeaWorld are forced to perform stupid tricks over and over.

While the official cause of Nanuq’s death is not yet known, one thing is clear: Humans took Nanuq’s life away from him on the day that they captured him 25 years ago and sentenced him to a stress-filled, lonely existence in concrete pools.

PETA has submitted a complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture urging the agency to investigate Nanuq’s injury and death and take disciplinary action for any violations of Animal Welfare Act standards, such as the possible failure to provide adequate veterinary care, handle animals in a manner that does not cause physical harm, and house incompatible animals in separate enclosures.

Don’t let Nanuq’s death be in vain. Never go to SeaWorld or any other park that uses animals for entertainment.

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  • 642 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    So sad. I doubt this would have happened in the wild. They have more room and normal behavior. Please stop the cruelty and release these animals back to the wild, where they belong.

  • 642 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    SICKENING!!!!

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