09/08/07 07:44 PM
Lots of historical beluga info!

Wow, so I've spent the day digging around for lots of information!
-Newfy was the father of Casey (I don't know if he fathered Hudson or not) as can be found in Kathy's obituary in 2004. That's all I can find on him, unfortunately.
-Hudson was born August 7, 1991 and died March 3, 1994.
-Blanchon was caught in the St. Lawrence in 1963 and was alive at least until 1987.
-Alex, who arrived at New York on August 28, 1961 with two females, Bertha and...I can't remember, was transfered to Mystic on May 6, 1975 and died there on June 2, 1984. Apparently in November 1970 he was moved to another tank in New York to encourage Blanchon to breed with the females. Did they have two separate displays going for a few years or something?
-Francis and Ethel arrived in September, 1967. Both were alive as of November, 1970. Francis died I *think* in 1974 after the stillbirth of her second calf, the first of which died right after birth in 1972.
-Amy Lou and another female were caught on July 25, 1976. Amy Lou went to New York (she lived through 1981 at least) and the other female to Mystic, where she died in May 1983 (I don't know her name).
Belinda's calf was born May 7, 1984, and she was approx 15 years old at the time. She herself was caught in 1973 and arrived at SWC on October 26 of that year along with another individual (they came via Seattle along with Sandy and apparently another killer whale who I can only guess to be Frankie).

-In August of 1968 Sea World got two belugas named Tubby and Snow White (how ridiculous :P) but I have no idea what became of them.
-In September 1972 they sent a newly captured 2 year old named Too Too to (hehe) the Ohio park, but he died during transfer to California a few days later. He and two other whales had been attacked in a holding pool and he was the only one to survive. A local family kept him in their swimming pool until he could be transfered.
-Apparently a beluga went to SWO in 1980, along with one orca.
-Two orcas and two belugas went to SWO in 1984.
-SWT opened with two belugas in 1988, although I think about four wound up there from a capture later that year.
-SWF had two as of novemember 1989.

September of 1993 was a busy birthing month at SWT.
-Martha had a male calf on the 17th, he died two months later on November 14
-Spooky had a stillbirth a day later on the 18th
-Martina gave birth to Turner on September 20th
-Kia gave birth to a male calf on September 25th who later died on February 16, 1995.

Marineland of the Pacific got two belugas in September of 1967, which I didn't know. I doubt they lived long, I had no idea they ever held them.

Illimar and Anore, both females, were caught in August 1985 and housed at the New York Aquarium until December 26, 1985. On November 18, 1987 something happened to their tank and they had to be moved back to the New York Aquarium. They returned the following June with Kia, who had been caught in July 1987 with Marina and Sikku and had been held in New York with them. Illimar died on August 10, 1989. Sometime in 1990 Sikku was transfer to Baltimore from New York in preparation for the Marine Mammal Pavilion opening. Anore died in December 1991 as we all know, and Kia and Sikku were transfered to SWT in February of 1992.

09/08/07 09:45 PM
Re: Lots of historical beluga info!

Just one small correction. Turner was actually born on September 13, 1993.

09/09/07 09:04 AM
Re: Lots of historical beluga info!


Just one small correction. Turner was actually born on September 13, 1993.

Thanks, I guess the article was off on that one.

09/09/07 07:38 PM
Re: Lots of historical beluga info!

Your welcome

09/10/07 07:57 AM
Re: Lots of historical beluga info!

Anyone else want to contribute some tidbits for the hell of it?!

09/10/07 10:07 AM
Re: Lots of historical beluga info!

Charlie was the other female collected with Bertha and Alex.

09/10/07 04:59 PM
Re: Lots of historical beluga info!

Belinda was at SWO in 1980 starring in her own show called "Belinda and Friends" with lags.

09/29/07 02:20 PM
Re: Lots of historical beluga info!

Old video of Shedd getting belugas in 1992:

10/15/07 11:16 PM
Re: Lots of historical beluga info!


-Amy Lou and another female were caught on July 25, 1976. Amy Lou went to New York (she lived through 1981 at least) and the other female to Mystic, where she died in May 1983 (I don't know her name).

Wonder if it's Okanitoo - she was there with Alex.

10/24/07 09:53 PM
Re: Lots of historical beluga info!

May 10, 1984, Thursday
A baby beluga whale, believed to be the first ever born in captivity, was reported in good condition today at Sea World here. The 55-pound mammal was born late Monday, according to Lanny Cornell, Sea World's zoological director.

June 2, 1984, Saturday
Alex, said to be the oldest whale ever held in captivity, died early today at Mystic Marinelife Aquarium after suffering from a number of ailments and ''plain old age,'' the aquarium announced. The 25-year-old beluga whale was among the aquarium's most popular attractions, said an aquarium spokesman, Laura Kezer. She said staff veterinarians would conduct an autopsy on Saturday.
Alex had been plagued with a yeast infection, ulcers and cataracts for a number of years, Miss Kezer said.
The whale arrived in 1976 in a transaction that involved the New York Aquarium and Sea World of San Diego, Miss Kezer said. The New York Aquarium had captured the two-ton whale in 1960.

July 21, 1984, Saturday
Although no calf born in captivity has survived, both aquariums hope to breed the whales. Mystic, whose only whale, Alex, died last month, wanted a male and a female. New York, which already has a male and a female, wanted two more males and another female. An error in determining the sex would be a disaster.
''We all remember the time 'Katie' turned out to be 'Kojak,' '' Mrs. Kezer said of a former Mystic fiasco.

July 20, 1985 Saturday
VANCOUVER (CP) - The Vancouver Aquarium has acquired two more beluga whales from northern Canadian waters.
The belugas, a male and female aged between 3 and 4 and weighing about 360 kilograms each, were acquired as company for Kavna, whose companion, Sanaq, died last February from a suspected bacterial infection.
The aquarium obtained a permit from the federal Fisheries Department to obtain two animals and a team was sent to Churchill, Man., last week.

12/23/07 06:16 PM
Re: Lots of historical beluga info!

-Francis and Ethel arrived in September, 1967. Both were alive as of November, 1970. Francis died I *think* in 1974 after the stillbirth of her second calf, the first of which died right after birth in 1972.

Francis died shortly BEFORE she could gave birth to the calf at the 25th of May 1974. Pic Fetus

Her first calf (as far as I know the first beluga birth in captivity by
the way) was born at the 27th of July 1972, at 2.14 pm. It was a
head-first (sorry I don't know the exact english word for it..) birth.
It swam several times against the walls and glass and died 2.48 pm. cause: a weak cerebral hemorrhage.
The aquarium didn't know that Francis was pregnant not even after
a checkup shortly before. So they weren't prepared to have
a calf in that tank. Pic death calf

(source: book Dr. Gewalt - Der Wei▀wal - quote from a report from the responsible zoo keeper at the time of the birth)

12/24/07 09:54 PM
Re: Lots of historical beluga info!

Francis died May 25, 1974 of toxemia. (The male calf had died and started to decompose in the 13th month of pregnancy.)

Ethel died January 17, 1975.

Thanks for the pictures! They're really interesting.

10/29/08 11:15 PM
Re: Lots of historical beluga info!

Bringing up an old one.

July 25, 1979 Wednesday
CHURCHILL, Man. - A chartered Hercules aircraft finally took off for San
Diego Aquarium from this port on Hudson Bay yesterday, carrying six
beluga whales and renewed respect for the intelligence of these sea

It took nine days to round up these famous Arctic white whales, even
though they appeared to be more plentiful than fish and even though an
experienced part-Eskimo whaleman, John Hickes, guided the live capture.

The beluga (Russian for white) seemed to mock their pursuers every
step of the way.

They are smarter than you and I, said Mr. Hickes, 35, who perfected
his rodeo-style technique of lassoing whales during tagging operations
for the federal Government. Since then, he has led captures for zoos in
Japan, West Germany and the United States.

On the first day of this year's aquatic adventures, Mr. Hickes and his
crew easily brought in four whales from the Churchill River estuary. But
trying to catch the required two more became more difficult as the days
went on. Whales playfully frolicked around the pursuing boats but always
eluded capture at the last minute.

At first, Mr. Hickes joked about the difficulties: They must have had
a meeting last night and the older whales told the young ones how to
avoid us.

But after a week of sunrise-to-sunset forays, frustrated and
exhausted, Mr. Hickes took his crew 85 kilometres north on Hudson Bay to
Seal River where I hope the whales haven't heard of us.

Apparently they had not, because the crew nabbed two females without
much trouble.

Mr. Hickes' capture techniques are somewhat spectacular and attract a
lot of attention in this northern grain-transport port of 1,200 people,
as well as the rest of Manitoba.

Four light 20-foot boats equipped with 35-horespower engines and an
operator who can turn on a seashell roar back and forth behind a beluga,
trying to persuade it to swim into shallow waters.

When they get the whale there, a boat manoeuvres alongside the animal
and a diver leaps into the water, attempting to secure a rope around the
whale's neck as it emerges for air. A second diver tries to lash the
thrashing tail.

Mr. Hickes' war wounds include concussions, rope burns, a broken
finger (this year), bruised arms and near-death when he became entangled
in a rope as a whale went spinning torpedo-style through the water.

Once caught (federal fisheries inspectors observe each step of the
procedure), the whale is secured to a canvas hammock and a blood sample
is taken from the tail to check for good health. On shore, 12 men are
required to lift the nine-foot, half-ton whales in the hammock and dump
them into holding tanks.

Mr. Hickes charges about $2,500 for each whale. In this expedition,
two males and four females, three or four years old, were caught for Sea
World, which has aquariums and mammal-research facilities in San Diego,
Orlando and Aurora, Ohio.

Of four whales caught here for Sea World in 1973, three are performing
underwater ballet stunts in San Diego and loving it, according to mammal
curator Jim Antrim. A fourth died of a parasitic infestation soon after

The white whale (which can grow up to 17 feet long and turns ghost
white at maturity) is found mainly in Arctic regions, but also in the St.
Lawrence estuary. The Canadian Government has banned hunting and killing
of the beluga except by Arctic inhabitants.

Mr. Hickes said the beluga sense the lack of danger. He said that
several years ago, when they were still being slaughtered, as soon as
they heard a boat engine, they were gone for the bay at full speed. Now
they know that boats and motors don't hurt them, so they just follow
boats around and give people a chance to see them.

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