Beluga whales

 

 

One of the most incredible experiences we had recently was our encounter with beluga whales at Canada’s Marineland. My little three year old nephew Alexander has been so in love with these Arctic mammals since he was a baby. I knew they were adorable but I didn’t realize how much cuter they were in person. And very intelligent. They were extremely sociable interacting with people – dancing, reacting to movements, popping their head up. And that perma-smile just makes me want to… smile forever.

 

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There are around 40 beluga whales in Marineland. Belugas were among the first whale species to be kept in captivity as early as the 1860’s. It has since been regulated.

 

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Stunning space. It was like a dream. I think this is my favourite place now. The Arctic Cove in MarineLand.

 

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Two belugas prop their heads up. Some defining features – the compartment at the centre of the forehead called “melon” contains oily, fatty tissue.  The melon is bulbous and visible. It is actually malleable and changes its shape during the emission of sounds. Belugas also seem to have a neck. They have seven vertebrae that are not fused together, allowing them to turn their head laterally.

 

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Each kid got to feed a beluga whale. Here’s Stella feeding her beluga named Lily!!! We were able to pat its head.

 

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Three-year old conversations. Stella and Alexander. It was like heaven for them.

 

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Beluga kisses. Sophia, my animal lover baby.

 

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Belugas seem very sociable. They travel in pods in the wild. Here’s a playful one with Lily.

 

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Stella with no idea that the beluga behind her was doing somersaults and was scratching its back.

 

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Can’t get over how adorable they are. Look at this one trying to get Soph’s attention.

 

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Unforgettable experience for the girls and for me and my parents.

 

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Soph took a gazillion photos.

 

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This photo is so cute it almost looks photoshopped. They have been able to breed in captivity. Here’s a little beluga calf. They are born grey but turn white as they age.

 

Sophia was also chosen to interact with the beluga during the show. She was picked among hundreds of people raising their hands. Lucky girl.

 

The science of beluga whales. Video from Marineland website.

 

 

Marineland is located in Niagra Falls, Ontario, Canada. It is closed during the winter. It opens on Victoria Day weekend. We went just a week after opening and purposely chose a Monday (May 27th) to avoid the weekend crowd. The kids enjoyed all the rides. They were able to ride over and over. For rates and tickets, click here.

 

 

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