Aurora, the last remaining beluga whale at the Vancouver Aquarium, passed away Friday night.
Aurora’s death comes nine days after her calf, Qila — the first beluga whale conceived and born in captivity at a Canadian aquarium — died at 21 years old.
Last week the aquarium said Aurora became ill the day after Qila died, experiencing the same symptoms as Qila.
“We will continue to investigate the cause or causes of Qila and Aurora’s sudden illness,” the aquarium said in a statement.
The aquarium also said a necropsy will be performed Saturday to look into the exact cause of death.
The aquarium said Aurora received dedicated around-the-clock care by staff and a veterinary team up until her death. Lab tests were also sent to veterinary experts around the world during the course of the treatment.
“To our team, Aurora was a part of our family and her loss is absolutely heartbreaking,” the aquarium said in a statement.
“The marine mammal care team working night and day to care for her are our true heroes, even if we lost the battle.”
Aurora was from the Western Hudson Bay population of beluga whales. The average lifespan of a beluga from this population is 15 years living in the wild, but some have been known to live as long as 40 or 50 years, according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Aurora first arrived at the Vancouver Aquarium in 1990.
Article source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/aurora-beluga-vancouver-aquarium-dies-1.3869241?cmp=rss