Humans often forget that animals can feel just as deeply as we do. We need reminders to show us that both sadness and happiness can be expressed in more than only our species. These two Beluga whales named Little Grey and Little White do just that.
Captured off the coast of Russia when they were very young, they spent some time in a research facility. Afterward, they were transferred to a small Chinese aquarium where they had spent years performing. However, Merlin Entertainments, a company that is opposed to putting whales and dolphins in captivity, proposed that the whales be taken back to their natural home.
Move Over, Willy
After several years of hard work, the two whales have found a new home in Iceland at the Beluga Whale Sanctuary ran the British charity Sea Life Trust. This sanctuary is a larger, more natural environment that will give the whales a beautiful home while keeping them safe.
Just like humans, they spent a little time in quarantine. Veterinarians gave them checkups to ensure their health. After a few months, they were then moved to a segregated part of the habitat to get acclimated to the new surroundings. After that time is up, they will be released into the more extensive habitat to live a much more natural life.
Over Land and Sea
These two beautiful whales had a journey unlike any other. 6,000 miles in trucks, tugboats, cranes, and even a plane! Not only that, but it all happened during a pandemic. Crews had to be quarantined as well to ensure that they did not unnecessarily risk the health of each other. The teamwork and dedication they have shown to this cause is inspiring. If we can keep this up, there are over 300 other belugas still in captivity around the world.
Maybe they just look naturally happy, but one cannot help but imagine this as a smile of joy. It certainly bought a smile to our faces!
Featured Image: ABC News