While some people still like to go to places like SeaWorld or MarineLand, the animals who live in captivity there can't stay forever. A U.S. based conservation group is looking to bring some beloved sea creatures up to Canada's Atlantic shore where they'll finally be free. The Nova Scotia whale sanctuary will be home to a bunch of once captive belugas and you can actually go see them once they get there.
On February 25, The Whale Sanctuary Project announced that a spot in Nova Scotia has been chosen as the site for a seaside sanctuary that will welcome the aquatic mammals that are being retired from captivity at entertainment parks.
Port Hilford, on the province's eastern shore, will be North America's first sanctuary for captive whales.
The conservation group looked at and researched hundreds of locations in the U.S. and Canada, including Nova Scotia and B.C., before settling on Port Hilford.
"It's an ideal location for whales coming from marine parks and aquariums," said Charles Vinick, executive director of the project, in a news release.
Not only will this be a place for retired creatures to be free and relax, but there are also plans to have a visitor centre, a nature trail and viewing spots where you can see the beautiful animals in the wild.
The hope is to have the site ready for its new residents by the end of 2021.
The plan is to create a retirement home using nets for about eight of the ocean mammals in a 40-hectare inlet which is about 300 times bigger than the largest whale tank in any marine park.
According to The Globe & Mail, about eight belugas and orcas will be at the sanctuary.
"Whales and dolphins are highly intelligent, emotionally sensitive and socially complex animals," said Lori Marino, president of the Whale Sanctuary Project, in a news release. "In the confines of a concrete tank at a marine park they suffer chronic stress and then often fatal illness. Relocating them to an ocean environment will give them a healthier life where they can thrive."
This spot off the coast of Nova Scotia will be as close as possible to the natural habitats of the water creatures that will be there while still allowing for them to be cared for.
Along with the actual sanctuary in the water and the places for visitors, the site will also include a veterinary clinic that will be staffed full-time.
Port Hilford was chosen because of the approval of locals and the natural landscape.
The bay has an extensive area that can be netted off for the animals that's open to the ocean but still sheltered from storms.
The Whale Sanctuary Project started looking at various locations in Nova Scotia back in 2019 and narrowed it down to three sites.
We can't wait for the beautiful creatures to come and splash around in Canadian waters!