Belugas on Board: Plane to Transport Whales to Iceland Sanctuary Skip to content
Cargolux beluga plane
Photo: The plane, which will transport Little Grey and Little White to their new home in the Westman Islands..

Belugas on Board: Plane to Transport Whales to Iceland Sanctuary

The plane that will transport beluga whales Little Grey and Little White from China to Iceland this spring has been unveiled. The plane, decorated with images of its two special travellers, will transport the animals from their current home in an aquarium in China to the world’s first open water sanctuary for beluga whales, now under construction in the Westman Islands, South Iceland.

The journey will be a complex one over land, air, and sea, to get the two whales across the nearly 10,000km (6,200mi) distance to their new home. The journey is expected to take around 24 hours. A team of caretakers will travel with the whales to ensure their well-being on the trip.

Andy Bool, Head of SEA LIFE Trust, who is building the sanctuary, said, the initiative is “a complex but truly inspiring project,” saying an animal care team, veterinarians, and marine experts were working together to ensure the best possible journey for the whales. Cargolux, a European cargo airline, is sponsoring the flight to help relocate the two animals.

Cathy Williamson, policy manager at Whale and Dolphin Conservation, stated about the project: “Whales and dolphins are highly intelligent creatures and are not suited to being held in a small pool performing tricks. It is hoped that this project will help to encourage the rehabilitation of more captive whales into a more natural environment in the future, and one day bring an end to the use of whales and dolphins for human entertainment.”

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