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The spherical head of a belugas is its most distinctive feature. However, these social underwater creatures are so much more than their unique looks. Of all whales, belugas are the loudest. They display an exceptional ability to swim backwards, which helps them navigate arctic waters. Although they are known for their white color, they don’t develop that color until about eight years into their lives. Beluga whales are actually born dark grey. They survive icy waters with their tough dorsal crests and lots of blubber to insulate them. Unfortunately, belugas are critically endangered and face a number of threats from climate change, humans, and predators. To experience the splendor of these sea creatures in person, you can visit one of the beluga whale aquariums.
4 aquariums with beluga whales
1. Georgia Aquarium
Location: Atlanta, GA
Georgia Aquarium is one of the lucky aquariums with beluga whales. You can visit a variety of animals at the Georgia Aquarium. These animals include American alligators, Asian small-clawed otters, manta rays and whale sharks. Guests can enjoy animal encounters, exhibits and tours. Take the Behind the Seas Tour, which takes you backstage to the most popular exhibits. Their website has a live stream webcam that gives you a glimpse of what the beluga whales are doing at any time of the day.
During your visit, you will be able to take in the splendor of these small beluga whales and admire their characteristics up close. Learn everything there is to know about them, from their ability to swim backwards to their opportunistic feeding habits. To commemorate your visit, you can purchase beluga whale gifts from the gift shop. To make your visit even more magical and unforgettable, you can even buy a painting painted by none other than a beluga whale. Could you have guessed that these beautiful creatures are also abstract artists?
2. Mystical Aquarium
Location: Mystic, Connecticut
At Mystic Aquarium, guests can “enjoy the day” and enjoy an educational experience filled with mystical animals. You can spot African penguins, California sea lions, northern fur seals, sand tiger sharks, star sea lions and the easily identified beluga whale. You can admire these massive beauties, which grow up to fifteen feet long and weigh up to 2,500 pounds, in a beautiful setting. Admire their distinctive melon heads up close.
If you can’t make it, book a Zoom call to get in touch with the Beluga team and watch a Beluga painting session in action. This is an enrichment program that gives you a unique insight into the world of these belugas. This experience also gives you the opportunity to ask experts your most pressing questions. Plus, you’ll get the finished Beluga painting delivered right to your door so you can use it to brighten up your space! There are also plenty of experiences to explore, including a day marine biologist. This experience gives you the opportunity to learn in a practical way what an animal expert does in a day.
3. Sea World
Locations: San Diego, California, Orlando, Florida, and San Antonio, Texas
SeaWorld has a few different locations in the United States where you can see beluga whales. There is a list of marine life you can visit including orcas, dolphins, bat rays, sea turtles, sharks and beluga whales. At the San Diego location, you can schedule an up-close beluga encounter. This allows you to enter their habitat and look behind the veil to learn more about them. You can also meet these creatures through the Beluga Interaction Program, which invites you into their natural habitat where you get in the water, touch and feed these gentle giants.
At the Orlando location, you can meet belugas alongside walruses at the Wild Arctic® exhibit and take an up-close beluga whale tour for a more intimate, hands-on experience. In San Antonio you have several options including the Ultimate Animal Experience, Animal Adventure Tour, Beluga Water Interaction and Beluga Whale Tour. Visit one of these three beluga whale aquariums for an unforgettable time.
4. John G. Shedd Aquarium
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of aquatic life at the John G. Shedd Aquarium. Among the animals you can see are turtles, sharks, sea otters, corals, seahorses and sea dragons, stingrays and beluga whales. There are a number of exhibits to keep you busy during your visit including the Abbott Oceanarium, Wild Reef, Caribbean Reef, Polar Play Zone and Oceans.
To find belugas, visit the Abbott Oceanarium or the Polar Play Zone, where you will have the opportunity to participate in a beluga encounter, learn from audio guides, and learn to distinguish the belugas that call this aquarium home (their Names are Atlas, Aurek, Beethoven , Naya, Kimalu, Kayavak, Bella and Annik!). While just standing by and watching these large creatures twirl through the water is mesmerizing enough, learning their names and learning a bit more about their past and personalities is a whole different experience.
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