Beluga whale at Ga. aquarium sick

Nov. 30, 2007 at 11:36 PM
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ATLANTA, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Veterinarians at the Georgia Aquarium are trying to determine what has sickened Marina, a 25-year-old beluga whale.

The animal is being cared for in a tank next to the Arctic Quest exhibit, The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. Marina was taken off display Thursday.

Jeff Swanagan, the aquarium's president, said Friday that veterinarians were unsure what was wrong with the whale.

"Animals are so good at hiding their symptoms," he said.

Gasper, another beluga at the aquarium, died earlier this year. The aquarium says Marina's sickness is unrelated.

Aquarium employees first noticed just before Thanksgiving that Marina was swimming erratically, not in the graceful normal patterns of the beluga. She has also not been eating normally.

Wetsuit-clad employees have been working in 4-hour shifts, guiding Marina's swimming in a shallow tank.

The three other belugas in the exhibit appear to be well, officials said.

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