Subject: Beluga:Chicago aquarium hopes rivalry (fwd)

Michael Williamson (
Tue, 18 Mar 1997 11:34:14 -0500 (EST)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 97 00:14:00 GMT 
Subject: Chicago aquarium hopes rivalry

Chicago aquarium hopes rivalry will boost potency

    CHICAGO (Reuter) - Officials at Chicago's popular Shedd
Aquarium said Monday they hoped rivalry would boost the hormone
levels and potency of male beluga whales and result in a new
birth in captivity of the huge, gentle species.
     Inuk, a 15-year-old beluga weighing 2,600 pounds, arrived
late Sunday from an aquarium in Tacoma, Washington, for a
breeding program designed to provide competition for Shedd's
resident male, Naluark, an 11-year-old weighing 1,500 pounds.
     Naluark had sex numerous times with three females at the
aquarium during last year's spring breeding season, but none
became pregnant.
     The Shedd Aquarium kept two female whales and sent a younger
female to Washington in exchange for Inuk and a female, Mauyak,
which means "Soft Snow."
     For now, Inuk (which means "Old Man" in the Inuit
language) and Mauyak were checking out their new companions
through a gate between adjoining pools at the aquarium's
Oceanarium exhibit. The whales should be swimming together
within a few days.
     Marine mammal experts believe competition increases the
sexual potency of male beluga whales, and may have resulted in
the six beluga whale births in captivity.