Whales from Chinese sea park starting retirement in Iceland

REYKJAVIK, Iceland — Conservationists and logistics experts in Iceland have celebrated the arrival of two beluga whales that previously lived at a sea park in China.

The whales, named Little Gray and Little White after the colours of their skin, were on a plane from Shanghai that touched down at Iceland's Keflavik International Airport on Wednesday afternoon.

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The two 12-year-old females are among the marine mammals that have been selected to inhabit a sanctuary in Iceland for formerly captive cetaceans.

After an 11-hour flight, the pair's tank was loaded onto a truck for a drive to a harbour and the last leg of their journey, a boat ride to the Westman Islands archipelago off Iceland's southern coast.

The whales were performers at the sea park. Their release reflects a worldwide movement against keeping whales and dolphins in captivity.

© Preeceville Progress