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Baby Beluga leaving Seward soon

Tyonek, the rescued Cook Inlet baby beluga will soon leave Seward for his forever home at SeaWorld San Antonio, Texas. There, another baby beluga male born about the same time in September 2017 at the facility awaits his new buddy along with other belugas. The date for his transfer has not yet been announced, but time is running out to see him here.

Today, Tyonek enjoyed playing hide and seek under a thin, floating blue mat, and cleverly balanced a white float on his head while swimming. He melted when a staff person scratched him under the chin and stroked his glistening head. He loves to show his pale belly while upside down underwater, and it seemed at times he was waving his little flippers at the admiring audience above. Then, with a quick breath, down he dove and swiftly swam underwater around the pool, pumping his flukes up and down. He can hold his breath a long time, upwards of 6 minutes, so be patient if he’s not in view. If you’re really lucky, you’ll be there when he is bottle fed in the afternoon, generally around noon and 4, but the times may vary.

The Alaska Sealife Center is open daily from noon to 5 pm, with one last FREEzing Winter Wednesdays on February 28 where Alaska residents enjoy free general admission.

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Donations are always appreciated for the Wildlife Response Program, and membership guarantees that you can visit all year long, everyday if you like. There’s always something exciting happening at the Alaska Sealife Center; don’t miss seeing this adorable baby whale!

Carol Griswold

PS. Beluga whale babies in the wild are dependent on their mother’s milk for the first two years of their life. It is not possible to release Tyonek back into Cook Inlet and expect any outcome but death without his mom to feed him. A life in captivity where at least we can learn more about belugas and where he can serve as an ambassador for his species is the best alternative. Seaworld San Antonio has had two successful baby beluga births in the past two years; they must be doing a lot right. I wish Tyonek the best life he can have.

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