Indie Alaska is an original video series produced by Alaska Public Media in partnership with PBS Digital Studios. The series captures the diverse and colorful lifestyles of everyday Alaskans at work and at play. Together, these videos present a fresh and authentic look at living in Alaska.
This episode takes viewers to the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, where beluga experts are caring for Tyonek, the first rehabilitated beluga calf from the endangered Cook Inlet population. He was found in September 2017, stranded on a beach on the west side of Cook Inlet. Officials brought him to the SeaLife Center, where he has been receiving 24/7 care ever since. Cook Inlet belugas are one of eight endangered species NOAA Fisheries has identified as part of the Species in the Spotlight initiative. Tyonek's rehabilitation is important for scientists and marine biologists who now have a rare opportunity to study the species up close.