AD Main Menu

Infections blamed for claiming life of baby beluga rescued in Alaska

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch

A baby beluga whale rescued from Alaska waters after becoming lost and separated from its mother during a storm died from multiple infections, according to the Associated Press. The rare event brought specialists from around the country to Alaska to care for the newborn calf at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, a two-hour drive south of Anchorage, the state's largest city. The inability of caretakers to save the infant beluga came as no surprise to the professionals who, while pulling for the 5-foot-long male calf, knew it would be an uphill battle.  

From the AP story:

"On postmortem exam we found that the beluga whale had infections in multiple sites, including his heart and lungs," Alaska SeaLife Center veterinarian Dr. Carrie Goertz said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press.

"Early tests had confirmed our initial suspicions that his immune system was not fully developed and that he was at risk of acquiring a life-threatening infection. Despite our efforts to support his immune system, this was the unfortunate outcome," Goertz wrote. 

The whale was discovered in Naknek, a coastal village in Bristol Bay. Read much more here