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Naluark, Male Beluga Whale From Shedd Aquarium, Flown To Mate In Connecticut

Naluark

10/24/11 08:52 PM ET   AP

MYSTIC, Conn. — A male beluga whale has been flown halfway across the country in the hopes it'll mate with one of two female belugas at a Connecticut aquarium.

The 2,100-pound, 13-foot-long whale is named Naluark (nah-LOO'-ark). He's on loan at the Mystic Aquarium from the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, where he has sired three calves.

His trip to Mystic involved two truck transfers and a chartered flight during which he was suspended inside a customized container filled with water.

Aquarium officials said Monday he has since joined other belugas inside the Mystic Aquarium's Arctic Coast exhibit.

The two female belugas at the aquarium have been identified by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums as top priority for breeding because neither has mothered a calf.

The white whales were declared endangered in 2008.

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Filed by Jen Sabella  |