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SEA LIFE Trust Beluga Whale Sanctuary

A New Home!

A pair of beluga whales have been given a new home in Iceland.

As You Read: Why were the belugas brought to a new home? Highlight details that support your answer.

Have you ever gone on a long trip? How about a trip halfway around the world— with two whales?

That’s just what a team of animal experts did this fall. They brought a pair of whales 6,000 miles from an aquarium in China to a bay in Iceland. The hard journey took years to plan, and the whales traveled by boat, truck, and plane.

But the experts say all the effort was worth it. The whales had been living in a small aquarium, with little room to swim. Now the whales are living at the Beluga Whale Sanctuary (SANGK-chuhweh- ree). It’s the world’s first open-water sanctuary for this species.

Have you ever gone on a long trip? How about a trip halfway around the world—with two whales? 

That’s just what a team of animal experts did this fall. They brought a pair of whales 6,000 miles from an aquarium in China to a bay in Iceland. The hard journey took years to plan. The whales traveled by boat, truck, and plane. 

But the experts say all the effort was worth it. The whales had been living in a small aquarium. They had little room to swim. Now the whales are living at the Beluga Whale Sanctuary (SANGK-chuh-weh-ree). It’s the world’s first open-water sanctuary for this species.

Taken From the Wild

The whales are named Little Grey and Little White. They are both about 13 years old and have spent much of their lives in captivity. Ten —by Glenn Greenberg years ago, they were captured in the Arctic Ocean and taken to an aquarium in China.

In 2012, a company called Merlin Entertainments bought the aquarium.

The company teamed up with Sea Life Trust and another group called Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC). Together, they set up a place where the whales could live a better life.

Bringing Little Grey and Little White to Iceland wasn’t easy. Each whale eats about 55 pounds of fish a day— and weighs more than 2,000 pounds. Special equipment, including cranes, was needed to move them.

The whales are named Little Grey and Little White. They are both about 13 years old and have spent much of their ives in captivity. Ten years ago, they were captured in the Arctic Ocean. They were taken to an aquarium in China. 

In 2012, a company called Merlin Entertainments bought the aquarium. 

The company teamed up with Sea Life Trust and another group called Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC). Together, they set up a place where the whales could live a better life.

Bringing Little Grey and Little White to Iceland wasn’t easy. Each whale eats about 55 pounds of fish a day. They each weigh more than 2,000 pounds. Special equipment, including cranes, was needed to move them. 

Home Wet Home

The Beluga Whale Sanctuary is in Klettsvik Bay (KLEHTS-vik) in Iceland. The bay’s cool waters are similar to those of the whales’ original Arctic home.

The large bay gives the belugas plenty of space to swim, dive, and explore. It also has a rich variety of seaweed, kelp, and fish for them to feed on.

To keep the whales safe from predators, an underwater net blocks the bay’s entrance. It also keeps the whales from wandering too far into the ocean until they are ready.

The Beluga Whale Sanctuary is in Klettsvik Bay (KLEHTS-vik) in Iceland. The bay’s cool waters are like those of the whales’ original Arctic home. 

The large bay gives the belugas plenty of space to swim, dive, and explore. It also has a rich variety of seaweed, kelp, and fish for them to eat. 

An underwater net blocks the bay’s entrance. This keeps the whales safe from predators. It also keeps the whales from wandering too far into the ocean until they are ready. 

Sea Success

The whales seem to be enjoying the bay.

“Seeing them swim together and deep dive for the first time was amazing to witness,” says Andy Bool, the head of Sea Life Trust.

The pair may even get some neighbors. The sanctuary is looking forward to welcoming more whales in the future!

The whales seem to be enjoying the bay.

“Seeing them swim together and deep dive for the fi rst time was amazing to witness,” says Andy Bool, the head of Sea Life Trust.

The pair may even get some neighbors. The sanctuary is looking forward to welcoming more whales in the future!

1. Based on the article, what was life in captivity like for the two whales?

2. Summarize the main idea of the section “Home Wet Home.”

3. What is the purpose of the sidebar “A Whale of a Journey”?

1. Based on the article, what was life in captivity like for the two whales?

2. Summarize the main idea of the section “Home Wet Home.”

3. What is the purpose of the sidebar “A Whale of a Journey”?

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