Alaska SeaLife Center gets rescued Bristol Bay beluga calf

Associated PressJune 20, 2012 

SEWARD -- A beluga whale calf, believed to have been separated from his mother during a storm, has been rescued from Alaska's Bristol Bay.

The calf, estimated at 2 to 3 days old when it was found Monday, was taken in by the Alaska SeaLife Center after attempts by people to encourage the calf to take to the open ocean failed.

This is the first beluga the center has housed.

SeaLife Center president and CEO Tara Riemer Jones says the biggest challenge has been providing 24-hour care. She says staff from U.S. aquariums with experience with belugas have come or are coming to help.

Jones says a federal agency will ultimately decide placement of the animal, as he won't be released into the wild. Calves in the wild nurse for about two years.

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