STONINGTON, Conn — One of five beluga whales acquired from an aquarium in Canada after a legal fight with animal rights activists has died at its new home in Connecticut.
Officials at Mystic Aquarium said in a Facebook post that the male whale had arrived in May with a preexisting gastrointestinal condition.
"This is a devastating loss for our staff and for the community, especially the animal care team who works closely with the belugas," said Mystic Aquarium in a written statement.
The aquarium said the whale died Friday, despite round-the-clock medical treatment, testing, and 24-hour monitoring.
"We appreciate your support and your respect for the Mystic Aquarium family during this difficult time. Our hearts are heavy, but we are dedicated to our mission," said Mystic Aquarium in the Facebook post. "Together, we will continue to contribute to critical research to save endangered populations of marine life, inspire visitors to protect ocean ecosystems, and provide world-class healthcare to all animals here at Mystic Aquarium."
Connecticut-based Friends of Animals and other activists had sought to block the transport of the whales, arguing the aquarium did not properly address the potential harm they could suffer by being moved to Mystic.
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