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Georgia Aquarium Welcomes Back Beluga Whales

February 24,2010

The Georgia Aquarium announced today that beluga whales are back in the Georgia-Pacific Cold Water Quest gallery. The whales arrived safely at the Georgia Aquarium on February 22, 2010. Maris returns to the Georgia Aquarium after a brief stay at SeaWorld San Antonio, while the beluga whale habitat was undergoing improvements.

Maris, a 15-year-old female born at the New York Aquarium, is 11 feet long and weighs more than 900 pounds. Beethoven was the first successful beluga whale calf born at SeaWorld San Antonio and spent most of his life at Point Defiance Zoo. The 18-year-old male is 13 feet long and weighs more than 1740 pounds.

“There are only a few places in the world that beluga whales can be seen,” said Billy Hurley, senior vice president and chief animal officer.”We are incredibly excited to have these majestic animals back at the Georgia Aquarium. As the pair continues to acclimate smoothly, we look forward to announcing the date that they will be on display for our guests.”

The beluga whales join the four new harbor seals, which came to the Aquarium on February 13, 2010.