Monday, 22 February 2010

Male Beluga Whale passes away

It is with great sadness that Mystic Aquarium, a division of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., reports that Inuk, the 28-year-old male beluga whale experiencing kidney failure for the past three weeks, unexpectedly passed away overnight. For the past two weeks, Inuk had been in stable condition.

“Despite the extraordinary efforts of aquarium staff, regular volunteers and additional volunteers from five different states, Inuk was unable to overcome the effects of extended kidney failure,” said Dr. Tracy Romano, senior vice president of research and zoological operations at Sea Research. “He will be missed by all. Inuk provided both staff and visitors with years of pleasure and educational inspiration. He was an iconic animal who captured the spirit of oceanic conservation and understanding.”

Aquarium veterinarians and researchers brought Inuk’s body to the University of Connecticut today, where they, along with staff from the Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science, will perform a necropsy to determine the cause of his kidney failure. The results of the necropsy will be available – at the earliest – in two weeks.

Inuk became ill on Friday, January 29, when he began showing a lack of interest in food. A blood test revealed a possible acute infection, further complicated by kidney failure. Since then, Mystic Aquarium’s animal care team had been working around the clock, giving Inuk supplemental fluids in an effort to clear his kidneys.


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