Vancouver beluga on 'breeding loan' to SeaWorld Orlando dies
Nanuq the beluga whale poses with actor Will Ferrel at SeaWorld in this 2011 photo. (Facebook)
The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, February 21, 2015 1:52PM EST
VANCOUVER -- A beluga whale from the Vancouver Aquarium that had been living at a SeaWorld in Florida has died.
SeaWorld Orlando posted a statement on its Facebook page Friday confirming the death of Nanuq, a male beluga estimated to be around 31 or 32 years old.
SeaWorld says Nanuq was being treated by veterinarians for an infection associated with a fractured jaw, an injury that resulted from an "interaction between two animals that were part of a compatible social group."
The cause of death is not yet known, and a post-mortem examination has been scheduled, although results are not expected for six to eight weeks.
The Vancouver Aquarium says Nanuq was transferred to Orlando in 1997, as part of a co-operative program to manage the genetic diversity of belugas in human care.
The aquarium says that in 1995 Nanuq sired a female beluga named Qila, who continues to live at the Vancouver Aquarium, and staff are deeply saddened by the death.