Belugas rescued from Chinese aquarium will have whale of a time in ocean ‘halfway house’

Two Beluga whales rescued from a Chinese aquarium will be rehomed in a giant aquatic “half-way house” before their release into an open water sea sanctuary off the coast of Iceland.

Little Grey and Little White were transported 6,000 miles by air, sea and land from Changfeng Ocean World in Shanghai in 2020, but have faced a series of issues in acclimatising to their new home.

After just four months in the open water, they were moved to an indoor care facility in order to protect them from the harsh winter, but have been forced to stay there after supply chain issues blighted construction plans in Klettsvik Bay.

Now, as an intermediate step, a 50-metre wide, 17 tonne giant halo-like structure has been created which will allow the whales to have a halfway-house before being released into the much larger open water sanctuary.

The specially designed floating habitat arrived at the remote Icelandic island of Heimaey following an 48-mile,16-hour journey by tugboat from the mainland.

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