Captive Beluga Whales
Captive beluga whales are being successfully moved from their natural habitat in Alaska to captivity in several European countries. Belugas are large marine mammals, which are the largest of all whales. They are also one of the most difficult marine mammals to breed in captivity. In the past, only a few pairs of belugas were successful in captivity. Over the last few years, however, more pairs have been saved and more pairs are expected to be saved in the near future.
In recent years, belugas were first held in an enormous sea cage at the Taipei Aquarium in Taiwan, then released into the wild to fend for themselves. Their original home is now a stunning 32,500-square-meter marine habitat in a remote bay known as Klettsholm, accessible only by boat tours. It is considered to be a special sanctuary for these majestic creatures, where they can swim and frolic in the clear blue waters, feed, breed, and grow. Animals that have been rescued from the wild include humpback whales, pilot whales, great white sharks, rainbow runners, and harbor porpoises. The animals were given the care and space needed to recover fully from their captivities in captivity.
Today, Hong Kong, China, and Denmark offer a special place in the world for whales and other large marine mammals, such as seals, dolphins, and porpoises. Several organizations are involved in the rescue, rehabilitation, and reintroduction of these critically endangered species. The main reason for their release into the wild is to allow these animals to be returned to their natural habitat, where they will thrive and reproduce naturally. Several thousand captive beluga whales now live at various marine parks and aquariums around the world.
Two of the best-known whale sanctuaries in the world are the Hong Kong and Denmark Sea Life Centres. These are the only places where you can view the live feed of captive beluga whales in their natural habitat. In recent years, Hong Kong has become one of the most popular destinations for visiting whales and other sea animals. Denmark has long been a well-known destination for breeding and reintroduction of wildlife species. Both islands offer an easy transportation link between mainland China and the peninsulas. Travellers are often advised to prepare suitable travel documents upon arrival in China.
Travellers travelling to Denmark or Hong Kong may also visit the Klettsville Marine Park, which is an excellent location for viewing beluga whales in their natural habitat. The park is accessible by road, and travellers can stay at the Klettsville Hotel, a modern hotel that is within the conservation area. The travellers travelling to Hong Kong or China from western Canada should take the overnight flight to Shanghai and travel by road to Klettsville. From there, a short drive across the desert to Klettsville will get the travellers in excellent position to watch the whales. For those travelling from the United States, a short bus or taxi ride to Shanghai will allow them to visit the whales in the wild and have a chance to photograph them.
If visiting China is more than a possibility, another excellent option for viewing these amazing creatures is in Canada’s Baffin Island sanctuary. The marine park is home to approximately five belugas, making it one of the most visited marine sanctuaries in the world. The Baffin Island sanctuary is also popular for visiting seal and penguin colonies. The whales can be viewed from the beach, and travellers can even walk the short distance to the seals’ colonies to feed them. The Belugas make a regular migration from the Kola peninsula and travel to Baffin Island during spring time, returning every year to breed and raise their pups.