Two former captive beluga whales, Little Grey and Little White, were successfully released into an open water sea sanctuary for beluga whales in Iceland.
They were transported individually from the indoor facility to the sanctuary in specially designed padded slings, first on a truck and then the harbor’s tug boat.
After their arrival from an aquarium in China last year, the beluga whales were trained in an indoor pool to adapt to their new life. Trainers were getting them prepared to use rocks to exfoliate, learning recall signals and to get familiarised with the stretchers that were used to move them to the sanctuary.
The two whales also had to acclimatize for their return to a more natural habitat. Little Grey and Little White will spend the first time in a bayside care pool before being released into the wider bay.
The sanctuary, owned by the charity Sea Life Trust, is situated in a natural and secluded bay just off the island Heimaey, off the south coast of Iceland.
The Klettsvik Bay measures approximately 32,000 square meters with a depth of up to 10 meters.