Little Grey and Little White – these are the names of two beluga whales that have recently traveled thousands of miles to their new home in Iceland where they will be able to live in the open sea for the first time in nearly a decade.
The sea canaries, as they’re also known for their high-pitched calls, traveled 6,000 miles from Chengfeng Ocean World, China, where they were trained to perform in front of audiences. The destination of their 30-hour trip was the Beluga Sanctuary, run by British charity Sea Life Trust, on Heimaey Island in June this year.
Following extensive planning and rehearsals prior to the journey, the two 12-year-old female whales arrived safely at Klettsvik Bay where they will stay in a bayside care pool for a short period of time to acclimatize before being released into the wider sanctuary.
Klettsvik Bay, in the Westman Islands off the south coast of Iceland, is the world’s first open water sanctuary for belugas. Once Little Grey and Little White are released, it will mark the first time they have been in the sea since they were taken from a Russian whale research center in 2011.
“We’re absolutely delighted to be able to share the news that Little Grey and Little White are safely in their sea sanctuary care pools and are just one step away from being released into their wider open water home,” said Andy Bool, head of Sea Life Trust.