Belugas are back!
Atlanta hasn’t seen them since last October, when female Maris, her mother, Natasha, and Nico, a male, were moved from Georgia Aquarium to Sea World San Antonio while construction was going on in their habitat. Nico died in San Antonio — the cause remains unspecified – and Natasha will remain there because of a potential mate. Maris and her new pal, Beethoven, are back in Atlanta. Eleven-foot-long, 900-pound Maris and 13-foot, 1,740-pound Beethoven could, indeed, be a mating pair. Here are more photos of the beluga pair at Georgia Aquarium.
There are only 36 belugas on in captivity in North America. If Georgia Aquarium’s pair are responding well to their space, they could go on display to the public today. AJCer Howard Pousner reported that Georgia Aquarium intends to start an encounter program with the belugas, too, in which a small number of guests would have the opportunity to interact with them. (Howard’s story also explains some of the beluga history at Georgia Aquarium. It’s a good read.)
Want to go? Georgia Aquarium, 225 Baker St. N.W. Atlanta. $26-$35. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday-Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. 404-581-4000, www.georgiaaquarium.org.
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