Ferdinand, the beluga at SeaWorld in San Diego, has died: he was at the dolphinarium for forty years

As always, the announcement is made “with a broken heart” and as always in the post announcing the death Ferdinand, beluga believed to be the oldest in the world still in captivity, Sea World San Diego emphasizes that the specimen lived “a very full life”.

Probably when they die Allu AND Klondiketwo surviving belugas in a California aquarium, the content of the announcement will be the same: condolences, sadness, but also great pride for offering these animals, plucked from the open sea when they were still puppies, what was really a life in captivity that ended only by their death.

Announcement of Ferdinand’s garden on the aquarium’s Instagram page

“Ferdinand, the beloved beluga whale, has died at the age of about 53 – the staff writes in the news – he will be remembered by his great personality and her extraordinary relationships with the animal care team.” In addition, employees of Sea World, a water theme park in San Diego, California, inside Mission Bay Parkowned and operated by the City of San Diego SeaWorld entertainmentemphasizes that «Ferdinand came to our park in 2004 Duisberg Zoo in Germany. We are grateful for the time we spent with him at SeaWorld San Diego and the positive impact he had on park guests. What we learned from him improved our understanding of how we can all support the conservation of beluga whales in the wild. Ferdinand will be greatly missed and we sincerely appreciate the support of our community and his fans around the world. At around the age of 53, Ferdinand lived a very full life. Most records of wild beluga whales indicate a lifespan of 30 to 50 years.”

However, the dolphinarium does not specify how much money Ferdinand instead brought in their coffers because every interaction with the beluga was sold 219 dollars. “L”interactions in water allows you to touch and feed these sociable white whales – it’s advertised on the website – while animal behavior experts explain how we incentive based training to communicate with these loving inhabitants of the cold Arctic waters.”

The cold Arctic waters, which Ferdinand had not seen or been able to cross since 1975, when he was captured in Hudson Bay, Canada. In fact, these cetaceans live in the seas Greenland, of Russia, ofAlaska and Canada, and owes its name to the Russian word “belyj”, which means “white”, just like they are: white as milk, and much loved for that reason.

An image of the “interactions” that the aquarium offers to the public for $219

The Cetacean in Captivity Wiki, online database which compiles reports on all “cetaceans in human care, both those still alive today and those dead or released,” says Ferdinand’s story. We thus find that he was caught on July 31, 1975, after a search for a specimen to reproduce.

“In 1969, the director of the Duisberg Zoo, Dr. Wolfgang Gewalt, tried to capture a breeding pair of belugas for the Hudson Bay Zoo – it is specified – Unfortunately for him, both of the whales he caught, Moby and Allua, were female. Gewalt returned to Canada in an effort to find male belugas. Ferdinand was captured and sent to his new home Zoo Duisburg. It got its name from a donation from Ferdinand Lentjes, who financially supported the expedition.” From the German zoo, Ferdinand ended up in the San Diego. “In 1978, a group of Commerson’s dolphins joined the belugas at the zoo. All but one eventually died. Allua died in 1984 and Moby died in 1999, leaving Ferdinand and Commerson’s last dolphin alone. It was decided to send them both to SeaWorld San Diego. Yogi, Commerson’s dolphin and Ferdinand arrived in San Diego on September 12, 2004. Yogi died just two months after the move, while Ferdinand died on December 15, 2023 of unknown causes.”

Now in the marine zoo, which in its specific mission is to organize activities to «create experiences that matter and inspire people to protect the animals and wild wonders of the world,” Allua and Klondike remain. Allu she was captured, like Ferdinand, in Hudson Bay on July 14, 1985, and although sterile, she became a surrogate mother to Pearl, a young beluga rejected by her mother Ruby. Klondike instead, she was born in captivity at the Marineland Aquarium in Canada on July 13, 2002. In less than twenty years, she has already been moved twice: from Canada to SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida, and from Florida to SeaWorld in San Diego, California. . Where it will remain until the next transfer to another aquarium, always used for show and entertainment.

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