Friday, September 16, 2011

R.I.P. Baby Beluga "Tiqa" From The Vancouver Aquarium

Hi Everyone,
I wanted to let you know about a very sad thing that happened at The Vancouver Aquarium on Friday Morning.
A very cute and adorable & very young beluga whale named "Tiqa" died Friday morning. I believe that she was born in June of 2009. It has now been released that the poor thing had pneumonia, said the vet who did the necropsy.

More on the sad story below.. from
"The preliminary results indicate that Tiqa had pneumonia," said the Vancouver Aquarium in a release late Friday. "The underlying cause is not yet known."
The release said Dr. Martin Haulena, the aquarium's vet, will continue to look for the cause, including "underlying metabolic disorders." He is also awaiting the results of further toxicology tests, including one that would search for the presence of diseased tissue.
The release also said the vet would work with specialists across the continent and world to review the preliminary results and would release a report early next week.
He wasn't available for comment.
Soonafter the aquarium released news of the beluga's death, the third to die at the Stanley Park attraction in the past six years, police said they had been investigating staff reports that a man scaled a three-metre stone fence to gain access to the beluga pool at 4:30 a.m.
But Vancouver police spokeswoman Const. Jana McGuinness said Friday it appears the break-in isn't related to the death of the three-year-old whale, who died at about 5:45 a.m. Friday.
Staff, who had been monitoring Tiqa because she had been sick over the past two weeks, reported seeing a man climb over the wall. They yelled and he quickly scrambled back over the barrier and fled.
Tiqa was in the pool at the other end of the compound and the interloper got nowhere close to the whale, police said.
Investigators plan to explore any connection, including checking the videotape of businesses near the Stanley Park attraction.
The aquarium has no closed-circuit TV. There is a perimeter alarm but it didn't go off and staff do not know why.
Aquarium CEO John Nightingale said Tiqa had not been eating regularly for the past two weeks and had been given antibiotics as a precaution against an infection. The blood tests showed nothing abnormal.
Tiqa had taken a turn for the worse on Thursday, he said.
He said no one is more upset about the loss than aquarium staff.
Staff and veterinarians will probe any link to the deaths of Tiqa's siblings: Nala, who died at the age of one in June 2010 of a blocked blowhole, and Tuvaq, who died at the age of three in 2005.
Nightingale said the mortality rate of young belugas in the wild isn't known because little research has been done but he noted that 50 per cent of orcas die prematurely in the wild.
The aquarium plans research into the mortality rate of belugas at other aquariums, he said.
Staff said Friday they will continue to breed using the aquarium's three mature female belugas — Kavana, 43, Aurora, 24, and Qila, 16 — after the aquarium is expanded.
"That's outrageous that the aquarium would continue breeding belugas in captivity," said Janos Mate, head of WhaleFriends, a group opposed to keeping whales in aquariums. "Belugas are highly intelligent, sentient beings. They suffer greatly in captivity, whether they're born there or kidnapped from the wild."
Mate's group, which has submitted 20,000 signatures to the Vancouver Parks Board over the past 20 years, demanding they let the whales go and claims a majority of Vancouverites are opposed to the whales in pools, is urging the board hold a referendum during this fall's municipal elections.
Those who support aquariums say the education and research value of keeping belugas outweighs tragedies, such as Nala's death.
Lifeforce, which opposes the aquarium expansion, called such zoos "animal prisons" and said the public instead can be educated about wildlife by watching them on live cameras.

I'm kind of thinking that Aquarium's should just keep animals in their native homes and don't move the precious animals around.
They might be better in their own surroundings.
It's So sad for Baby Beluga Tiqa. I'm praying for you, R.I.P. such a sweet animal. Gone way too soon! :( I'm thinking of you...



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