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Alaska SeaLife Center gets rescued Bristol Bay beluga calf

This photo taken July 4, 2012, at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward shows Dennis Christen of the Georgia Aquarium feed a bottle to a baby beluga calf being rehabilitated at the center. The calf died late Sunday.
Mark Thiessen / AP2012
This photo taken July 4, 2012, at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, Alaska, shows a baby beluga calf being rehabilitated at the center. The whale was approximately two days old when it was found in Bristol Bay, Alaska, and separated from its mother. Staff from the Alaska SeaLife Center is receiving help with the whale's care from the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and SeaWord in San Diego.
Mark Thiessen / AP2012
This photo taken July 4, 2012, at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, Alaska, shows Elizabeth Davis from the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago keeping an eye on a baby beluga calf being rehabilitated at the center. The whale was approximately two days old when it was found in Bristol Bay, Alaska, and separated from its mother. Staff from the Alaska SeaLife Center is receiving help with the whale's care from the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and SeaWord in San Diego.
Mark Thiessen / AP2012
This photo taken July 4, 2012, at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, Alaska, shows Elizabeth Davis from the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, left, and Dennis Christen of the Georgia Aquarium feed a bottle to a baby beluga calf being rehabilitated at the center. The whale was approximately two days old when it was found in Bristol Bay, Alaska, and separated from its mother. Staff from the Alaska SeaLife Center is receiving help with the whale's care from the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and SeaWord in San Diego.
Mark Thiessen / AP2012
In this provided by the Alaska SeaLife Center shows a beluga whale calf rescued at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Bristol Bay, Alaska, Monday, June 18, 2012. A beluga whale calf, believed to have been separated from his mother during a storm, has been rescued. The calf, estimated at two to three days old when it was found Monday, was taken in by the Alaska SeaLife Center, after attempts by others to encourage the calf to the open ocean failed. (Alaska SeaLife Center, ho)
Alaska SeaLife Center
In this provided by the Alaska SeaLife Center shows workers from the Alaska SeaLife Center rescue a beluga whale calf in Bristol Bay, Alaska, Monday, June 18, 2012. A beluga whale calf, believed to have been separated from his mother during a storm, has been rescued. The calf, estimated at two to three days old when it was found Monday, was taken in by the Alaska SeaLife Center, after attempts by others to encourage the calf to the open ocean failed. (Alaska SeaLife Center, ho)
Alaska SeaLife Center
In this provided by the Alaska SeaLife Center shows a beluga whale calf rescued at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Bristol Bay, Alaska, Monday, June 18, 2012. A beluga whale calf, believed to have been separated from his mother during a storm, has been rescued. The calf, estimated at two to three days old when it was found Monday, was taken in by the Alaska SeaLife Center, after attempts by others to encourage the calf to the open ocean failed. (Alaska SeaLife Center, ho)
Alaska SeaLife Center

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.



Associated Press