There’s sure to be an influx of visitors rushing down to Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise to check out the latest addition to the tanks.
Even if you don’t think she’s cute, you should appreciate her – she’s a rarity! Born on June 28th, seen above in a picture from Mainichi Shimbun swimming with her mother, this beluga whale calf will lose its grey hue and become brilliant white as she grows. Staff are still unable to confirm the sex of the calf but think it’s a girl. We’ll trust them on that.
Visitors will need to cross their fingers for the welfare of the calf, it is very difficult to successfully breed whale in captivity, only two have previously survived past their first few difficult days. We will also not be able to get a really up-close-and-personal view until she has stabilised, according to Mainichi, as visitors are being kept at a distance of five metres.
Beluga are considered a near threatened species and usually live in the regions surrounding the Arctic and are occasionally spotted off the Alaskan coast. Supposedly playful, the creature are said to be one of the only whale species to be able to swim backwards. We wonder if her parents, mother Parara and father Tororo, will have any say in the naming of the calf? And does news like this have any impact on eating habits in Japan?