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Mystic Aquarium awaits 5 new belugas for research work

STONINGTON — A New England aquarium beloved for its beluga whales is hoping to get five more of the marine mammals as part of a research project. Mystic Aquariu...
beluga whale

STONINGTON — A New England aquarium beloved for its beluga whales is hoping to get five more of the marine mammals as part of a research project.

Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut is home to the largest outdoor beluga whale habitat in the country. Three of the whales currently live in the habitat. The aquarium says it’s awaiting approval from the federal government for the transfer of five belugas that were born at a facility in Canada.

Stephen Coan, president of Sea Research Foundation, says the whales would become part of a research program designed to increase general knowledge about the species and inform conservation efforts. The foundation operates the aquarium.

Belugas are white whales that can weigh up to 3,500 pounds. Some of their populations are considered endangered.