Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Travel Photo of the Day: White Beluga Whales, Vancouver Aquarium, Canada

In October 2001, I visited a friend in Vancouver for a week and one night she told me about the white Beluga Whales living at the Vancouver Aquarium. Having never seen a white whale, I was anxious to visit, so we headed over the next day. The aquarium is situated in the stunning 1,000 acre Stanley Park (10% larger than New York City's Central Park), that sits between Vancouver and the Pacific Ocean. The park hosts over 8 million visitors a year, and besides the aquarium, is home to a seawall used for running, cycling and walking, a Theatre Under the Stars, and pitch and putt golf course, a swimming pool, beaches and sports fields.

The aquarium itself houses pavilions such as Pacific Canada, Arctic Canada, The Wild Coast and The Amazon Rainforest and is the home of six Beluga Whales. The Beluga Whale can grow to lengths of 18 feet (5.5 meters) and can weigh between 2,400 and 3,500 pounds (1,100-1,600 kilos). The whale's distinctive features inlcude all-white coloring that is rarely seen among other marine animals, the ability to change the shape of its head by blowing air through its sinuses and the uncommon (to marine animals) ability to turn its head laterally and exhibit numerous facial expressions, making it a favorite with visitors.   


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