Shedd Aquarium Experts Help Alaska Team Treat Orphaned Beluga Calf

tube suckling Shedd Aquarium Experts Help Alaska Team Treat Orphaned Beluga Calf

The team has found that letting him
suckle from the tube rather than the bottle is
the most effective method for him to get the
nutrients he needs. Currently he has graduated
from the Aminoplex to a milk matrix with fish
and antibiotics added. (Photo credit: ©Alaska SeaLife Center)

CHICAGO (CBS) — Mammal experts from the Shedd Aquarium are now helping take care of a four-week-old beluga whale found stranded in Alaska.

The beluga calf was rescued Saturday, Sept. 30 from Cook Inlet, Alaska, after being found struggling to survive.

The Shedd has teamed up with experts from four other aquariums, including Georgia Aquarium, Vancouver Aquarium, SeaWorld, and Mystic Aquarium, to provide around-the-clock intensive care for the male calf and assist the Alaska SeaLife Center.

dsc 9750 Shedd Aquarium Experts Help Alaska Team Treat Orphaned Beluga Calf

Upon receiving the rescue alert, Alaska SeaLife Center pulled together a team of first responders, which included on-site marine mammal experts with support from five North American aquariums with professional experience caring for beluga whales. (Photo credit: ©Alaska SeaLife Center)

“As Alaska’s only marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation center, our team of experts are responsible for the care of a variety of critical wildlife response situations across the state. To be able to have our expert colleagues assist us with this critically endangered beluga calf is a true testament to the marine mammal community’s commitment to caring for and preserving wild cetacean populations,” said Tara Riemer, President and CEO at the Alaska SeaLife Center, in a statement. “To witness everyone come together for this very young calf is heartwarming as he is receiving the best 24-hour care from experts across North America.”

Specialists estimate his survival at less than 10 percent, but the team is dedicated to giving him the best possible chance at life.

img 2080 copy Shedd Aquarium Experts Help Alaska Team Treat Orphaned Beluga Calf

Male beluga calf was rescued Saturday, Sept. 30 from Cook Inlet, Alaska (Photo credit: ©Alaska SeaLife Center)

He belongs to a critically endangered population of beluga whales in the Cook Inlet. Only 328 members of the species are left in the wild.

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