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Dont you get it? Let the Whales Free

Posted by Scuba Herald on Dec 1st, 2007 and filed under Marine Science. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Marina, the second oldest beluga whale at the Georgia Aquarium, has recently fallen ill and is being watched twenty-four hours a day. Marina has lost her appetite and has become disoriented. “Every resource is being given to the team to ensure that Marina is receiving the best possible care,” said Jeff Swanagan, president and executive director, Georgia Aquarium. “

She has a variety of ailments being treated, but her lost sense of direction is the primary concern of the veterinary and husbandry team treating her. Without regaining her ability to navigate, she will not be able to survive in any environment.”

She has already suffered an injury to her rostrum (chin). More than 100 staff will be involved in covering shifts to ensure Marina’s safety, according to aquarium officials. Veterinary and husbandry teams are continuing diagnostic procedures to further understand her condition. Marina, estimated to be 25 years old, is currently being cared for off-exhibit.

In November 2005, three beluga whales, including Marina, were transferred to the Georgia Aquarium on a breeding loan. The Georgia Aquarium team is collaborating with veterinarians from the University of Georgia and the University of Florida.

The three other beluga whales at the Georgia Aquarium, Nico, Maris and Natasha, are all eating normally and responding to the husbandry team.

Officials said an update on Marina will be released Monday afternoon or sooner if her condition changes.

Gasper, one of the Georgia Aquarium’s five beluga whales at the time, was euthanized in January after months of declining health.

Whale sharks Ralph and North also died at the Aquarium this year.

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