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A beluga whale peers interestedly at an underwater camera in Shedd's Abbott Oceanarium

Beluga Whale

Beluga whales’ snow white skin and thick blubber help them survive in coastal waters throughout the Arctic. Nicknamed “canaries of the sea,” these social whales have a repertoire of whistles, clicks, chirps and squeals, all produced in their nasal passages and broadcast through their blowholes. Our experts bring years of experience caring for belugas at Shedd to rescue and research efforts in the wild.

A beluga calf swims next to its mother at Shedd Aquarium.

Benefiting endangered belugas in Alaska

Shedd supports research benefiting the critically endangered beluga whale population in Alaska’s Cook Inlet. Approximately 340 individuals remain in these waters, down from a historic 1,300 animals.

By teaming with Georgia Aquarium to fund research by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game on beluga habitat use, foraging and the impact of noise pollution, we hope to help save this small but important population.

Beluga rescue in action

Shedd's Animal Response Team helped rescue a young beluga stranded in Canada, teaming with partners to transport the whale to a safe home.

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“We give our belugas different toys throughout the day for enrichment. This lets them play and get creative with how they interact with objects and each other.”

Susan Allen, trainer

Beethoven

Bella

Kayavak

Kimalu

Mauyak

Naya

Aurek