Maris the Beluga Whale Dies Suddenly at Georgia Aquarium


A beloved female beluga whale has died suddenly at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.

Maris, 21, showed no signs of illness before her death Thursday, the aquarium said in a statement.

She ate and interacted normally with Grayson and Qinu, the other two beluga whales at the aquarium.

“This is a case of sudden, acute animal death,” said Dr. Gregory Bossart, chief vet at the Georgia Aquarium.

An autopsy is underway.

Fisheries experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimate that beluga whales often live to be 35 to 50 years of age in the wild.

We’re profoundly saddened to announce the sudden loss of our 21 yr. old beluga whale, Maris.
— Georgia Aquarium (@GeorgiaAquarium) October 22, 2015

Maris lived at the aquarium for 10 years, and had a calf this year that died in June shortly after birth.

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SOURCE: CNN, Faith Karimi