The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta
is coming under heavy fire for its outrageous plan to import 18 wild-caught
beluga whales from Russia, subject them to a nonlife in captivity, and use them
as breeding machines to churn out more babies for profiteers at marine parks
and aquariums across the country.

In an article for National Geographic titled “Should
We Import Belugas for Display?” Virginia Morell takes issue with the idea
that aquariums “need” more captive beluga whales. “Those in
captivity now will grow old, perhaps lonely, and die,” says Morell. “But
to replace them will cause other belugas harm and grief—because it can only be
done by tearing apart families that are doing fine now in the wild.”

Morell describes
for readers the rich lives that belugas lead in their natural homes:

[T]hey are highly social,
gregarious creatures; they make long migrations; they have an impressive range of calls, and like dolphins (to which
they are distantly related) use these in a variety of ways, including imitating
one another. (A just-released study shows that captive belugas can
also imitate humans.) They like to hang out in the summer in shallow coastal
waters in large groups (sometimes numbering in the thousands), which are most
likely made up of close relatives—mothers, dads, and kids, aunts and uncles,
and cousins. Sometimes, they make solo journeys just to visit other groups—a
behavior that reminds me of elephants, who sometimes leave their
families to visit clan members far away.

Compare this to
life in their own diluted waste in a small cement tank, where belugas and other
marine mammals spend their days swimming in endless circles, deprived of
everything that they enjoy, even the use of echolocation. Aquarium visitors
come, spend a few hours, buy some souvenirs, and then go home and carry on with
their lives. Animals in aquariums will remain in the same tanks until the day
they die.

Voice Is Needed!

Please help us stop the Georgia Aquarium’s cruel
and misguided plans. Take a moment today to contact the National Marine Fisheries Service and let officials know why they should deny the
Georgia Aquarium a permit to import wild-caught beluga whales.

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Article source: PETA Files

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