Beluga Sisters’ First Swim in Klettsvík Cove: Video

Vala Hafstað

The beluga whales Litla-Hvít and Litla-Grá (Little White and Little Grey) took their first swim in their new sanctuary home in Klettsvík, Vestmannaeyjar Islands, earlier this week, mbl.is reports. See for yourself in the video above.

The beluga sisters arrived in Vestmannaeyjar islands in June of last year after a 10,000-km (6,000-mile) long flight from Shanghai, where they had been living in the marine animal park Changfeng Ocean World.

At first, they had to be temporarily placed in a swimming pool for adjustment, but then they moved to Klettsvík cove in August of this year.

This week, they were for the first time released to fully explore their new home.  As they did so, they were carefully monitored by their expert care team.

According to Sea Life Trust, which operates the sancutary, the whales will be gradually introduced to their 32,000-square-meter (344,000-sq-ft) Klettsvík home, which has a depth of up to 11 meters (36 ft).

Using this ‘Little Steps’ approach, the sisters will return to the sea sanctuary care pools over a short period of time while their health and well-being is assessed and monitored on a daily basis.

 “We’re absolutely thrilled by the progress that Little Grey and Little White have made since moving to their bayside care pools,” statesAndy Bool, Head of Sea Life Trust.

“They are feeding and acclimatizing well to the more natural surroundings as well as all of the outdoor elements,” he adds. “We are introducing them gradually to the bay in little steps, but seeing them swim together and deep dive amongst the flora and fauna of the wider bay for the first time was amazing to witness and gave us a real sense that Little Grey and Little White are enjoying being back in the sea.”

Tourists will be able to observe the belugas in their new home, which is a pen in the cove, the first in the world to be made for belugas. Never before have belugas been allowed to live in a marine pen following years of captivity.

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