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U.S. investigating deaths of 2 beluga whales moved from Marineland, a 3rd in intensive care

Three beluga whales in water.
The Whale Sanctuary Project

The U.S. government is reviewing the deaths of two beluga whales that were moved from Marineland in Niagara Falls, ONT to an American aquarium last year.

Havana, a young female beluga, died last month at Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut. Havok, a young male beluga, died at the aquarium last summer.

Mystic, which announced the deaths after they occurred, said last month that a third whale from Marineland was in intensive care.

“The Animal Welfare Act is vital to protecting wildlife and animals under human care,” said Dr. Stephen M. Coan, President and CEO of Mystic Aquarium, in February. “Inspections, investigations when an animal dies, and accreditation processes are essential learning tools to advance the care and welfare of animals. We are constantly seeking to evolve and learn in our mission to provide the best possible care for animals.”

The mammals were among five beluga whales sent to Mystic on a research permit in May 2021 after Marineland, a Niagara Falls tourist attraction, sold them for an undisclosed price.

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Services says it is reviewing the circumstances surrounding the whales' deaths. Marineland and Mystic did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

WBFO's Marian Hetherly contributed to this story.

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