Beluga whale dies at Spanish facility

image: Mendar Bouchali

Male beluga whale Kairo has passed away at Valencia’s L’ Oceanografic. He was moved from Mar de Plata aquarium in Argentina in 2003, shortly after L’Oceanografic opened. Over the years, he fathered at least 2 calves, one that died at 25 days old in 2006 and another born in 2016, which is still living.

In 2019, former Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson approved permits to move two beluga whales from Marineland in Canada to L’Oceanogràfic as part of a research project, however, Dolphinaria-Free Europe pushed for this move to be stopped and to date, there have been no transfers. However, this latest whale death leaves female 26-year-old Yulka and her son Kylu, which is a real concern as  L’ Oceanografic may push to import male belugas.