Whale Sanctuary Project Narrows Search To Top 3 Locations For A New Seaside Sanctuary For Orcas & Belugas In North America

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The Whale Sanctuary Project announced yesterday that they are narrowing their search for a site to create a model seaside sanctuary for orcas and belugas in North America.

The model sanctuary would offer a home for whales who have retired from entertainment venues and are in need of rehabilitation or require lifelong care. Sites in Washington StateBritish Columbia and Nova Scotia are all under consideration.

“The sanctuary will be an environment chosen to promote the health and well-being of the whales, offering them the opportunity to finally thrive in a natural setting,” Dr. Lori Marino, President and Founder of the Whale Sanctuary Project said in a statement.

The rural communities of Sherbrooke and Sheet Harbour both provide suitable locations in Nova Scotia, while Deepwater Bay off Cypress Island in Washington is also a strong possibility. Mound Island in British Columbia rounds out the organization’s current list of top contenders.

“Finding the perfect site for this sanctuary has been a labor of love for us for more than two years,” said Charles Vinick, Executive Director for the Whale Sanctuary Project. “We’ve considered more than 130 sites and visited at least 30 of them. Our sanctuary will have a major impact on the surrounding community, so we’ve been holding town meetings, inviting community members to have an open dialogue with us about what we’re attempting to do and what this means for their home. We want to find a community that will embrace the sanctuary and the whales that will live there.”

The sanctuary space will offer a spacious environment that is as similar to the whales’ natural habitat as possible, and must meet certian criteria, including space, depth, current flow and more.

While the site will provide a home for whales in need, the sanctuary — and its construction — will also provide a boost for the local economy, creating a number of new jobs.

“Once the sanctuary and surrounding infrastructure have been built, the whales living at the sanctuary will require a good deal of care,” Marino said, “They will be transferred from living in concrete tanks, unable to care for themselves. They don’t even know how to catch their own food. The animal care team, including veterinarians and trainers, will need to work with them on a daily basis, whether for feeding, administering medical care, or working on rehabilitating them.

The creation of the new North American sanctuary is reliant upon donations and the organization’s fundraising efforts. To Donate, CLICK HERE!

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