T H E    W D C    T A K E O V E R ! ! 

This week, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation have taken
over our blog, to let you know more about their current Beluga project...

"At WDC, Whale and Dolphin Conservation we’ve been privileged and proud to be part of Big Wild Thought’s amazing journey from the very start, back when the fabulous orca was one of the company’s three initial designs. Fast forward three years and I’m delighted to share what Big Wild Thought’s support has meant to WDC and to whales and dolphins through another amazing journey – that of two beluga whales, Little White and Little Grey, who have left a concrete tank behind for the world’s first ever sanctuary for captive whales.

During lockdown, every one of us has experienced a little of what it must be like in captivity for such intelligent, social mammals. But for us, it’s only temporary. In 2011 Little White and Little Grey were captured from the wild as babies, torn away from their families and friends and forced to perform tricks for the fee-paying public in an aquarium in Shanghai, China. It was an existence far removed from swimming hundreds of miles every day in the ocean, surrounded by a close-knit family group and able to communicate with other belugas.

After Merlin Entertainments bought the aquarium, WDC partnered with its charitable arm, the SEA LIFE Trust, to find a way to give Little White and Little Grey a better life.  It was no easy challenge and there were obstacles and hurdles every step of the way. Searching for the ideal location, securing permission from the Chinese authorities to take the belugas out of China, and even finding suitable transport for two whales took time and incredible effort from all the stakeholders involved. We found the perfect site in Klettsvik Bay, Heimay Island, Iceland and in 2019 Little White and Little Grey were flown 6,000 miles around the world to their new sanctuary home.  During a period landside in a critical care pool, where they were constantly monitored by experts and vets, they put on much-needed blubber to cope with colder water,learn to catch their own prey and prepared physically and mentally for life in the ocean.

Once our team of experts were certain that Little White and Little Grey were ready, weather conditions were optimum and, of course, lockdown had eased in Iceland, the eagerly anticipated transfer of Little White and Little Grey into the care pool in the ocean sanctuary was witnessed by the world on 7th August 2020.

Currently Little White and Little Grey are feeling salt water against their skin for the first time in their adult lives. They are breaching in the rain (another long-forgotten experience) and breathingresh, clean air whilst awaiting the final leg of their incredible journey – release into the wider sanctuary bay.

Big Wild Thought’s ongoing support will help us to bring more whales and dolphins from aquariums to sanctuaries and end cruel captivity once and for all."

Warm Wishes

Sharon Stevenson
Community and Events Fundraising Manager


We hope you’ll love our #wildthoughts blog!
September 18, 2020 — Liam Stansfield

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