beluga
(Photo : Twitter: Beluga Whale Sanctuary (@BelugaSanctuary)) Little Grey and Little White

Two 12-year old Beluga Whales are released from captivity and their former aquariums in China to travel for 6,000 miles towards their new home, a sea sanctuary in Klettsvik Bay on the south coast of Iceland, after almost ten years!

Sea Life Trust, a charitable organization that aims to help marine-life creatures be free to their original habitats, spearheaded Little Grey and Little White's relocation from the Marine Wildlife Acquiarium known as Ocean World in Shanghai, China,

The organization was trying to acquire the beluga pair to be released from captivity for a long time. The whales are happily enjoying their freedom in a marine haven habitat in Klettsvik Bay, Iceland.

According to Daily Mail, both whales were initially part of the attractions and trained to obey human commands as show animals at Ocean World Shanghai for nearly a decade, until their freedom.

The journey is estimated to be more or less 6,000 miles combining both land and air travel from Shanghai, China, to Klettsvik Bay.

According to Sea Life Trust's dedicated Twitter account for the Beluga Whales (@Beluga Sanctuary), the whales who have gone through human captivity arrived only today, August 10, 2020.

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The Journey to the Sanctuary

The sanctuary in the Icelandic coast measures a massive 32,000 square meters (equivalent to 344,445 square feet) and nine meters deep (30 feet) that is big enough for the whale duo to swim, explore live in, according to Sea Life Trust.


Little Grey and Little White's journey began on June 19, from China's Changfeng Ocean World in Shanghai. Both were carried out by stretchers specifically made for their body shape and mass to avoid injuries. They were then placed into special individual transportation tanks that are lifted aboard trucks.

Both whales traveled by land, arriving at the airport, before being transferred to a cargo plane donated by Cargolux. Upon their arrival at Keflavik Airport in Iceland, both tanks were transported aboard trucks that brought them to their ferries that brought them to Heimaey Island. Finally, the beluga whales were transported via land to Klettsvik Bay before being released safely into an exclusive care pool to help them acclimate into the bay's sanctuary.

Get to know Little Grey and Little White

According to the beluga whale's profile in Sea Life Trust, the pair is originally from Russia. Both Little Grey and Little White were born in 2007 and are currently 12 years of age (turning 13). The pair weighs around 900 kilograms and is specific to Herring and Capelin diet.

Little Grey is characterized to be extroverted of the duo. This beluga whale often plays with humans and sprits water to her care team. She is characterized as outgoing and curious.

Little White, on the other hand, is the shy and quiet one between the two. She is known to be reserved but is also playful once she forms a strong bond with her designated human handler.

Sea Life Trust shared on Twitter that the pair of beluga whales will have neighbors who are native birds on the island called "puffins." A species of rare birds found only in the Atlantic region, mostly in cold oceans, particularly in Iceland.

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Written by Isaiah Alonzo

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