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article imageVancouver aquarium holding naming contest for baby Beluga

By Stephanie Dearing     Nov 7, 2009 in Lifestyle
Naming a baby is always a momentous occasion. The name must be suitable, reflecting the parents' beliefs and cherished family members as well as hopefully providing the baby with a name that serves the child well all its life.
Naming a Beluga whale might not carry as much weight as naming a human infant, but that does not mean the event is not as important to some people. The baby in question was born at the Vancouver Aquarium in British Columbia on June 7th. The aquarium, like parents, want a name that reflects the whale's nature, as well as honouring Inuit culture. Belugas are Arctic whales, and they have decided to let Canadians participate in the naming of the baby by holding a contest.
The contest is only open until November 22, 2009. The name will be chosen on December 2, 2009. The lucky winner will get a "one-of-a-kind baby Beluga encounter," as well as an annual family membership to the aquarium and $200 to spend at the aquarium gift shop. There are four runner-up prizes for four other entrants who make the "A list." All four runner-up prizes will either be a family membership to the aquarium or an animal encounter.
The female baby was born to Aurora (mother) and Imaq (the father). The baby is now being exposed to her future trainers so that she is comfortable with people. The aquarium reports that she likes to play and explore.
The aquarium has provided details about the competition, how to submit an entry and also to access an on-line Inuit dictionary and learn more about Inuit language at visitvanaqua.org/news/baby-beluga-naming-contest.
The Vancouver Aquarium has one other Beluga baby named Tiqa, who is just over one year old.
Belugas are the smallest species of whale and are noted for their white colour. Certain populations of the whales have been negatively impacted by hunting and pollutants in the water.
Earlier this summer, a Beluga named Mila was credited with saving the life of a Chinese diver who suffered leg cramps during a free diving competition in a Beluga pool at Harbin Polar Land, located in China.
In related news, a Beluga whale died at Sea World in Georgia. It was the third whale to die at the aquarium and veterinarians still have not been able to find a cause for the deaths. The whales were rescued from Mexico and had health issues.
More about Name baby beluga, Vancouver aquarium, Naming contest, Aurora, Harbin polar land
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