According to the SeaLife Center, the calf was spotted near the village of Naknek, located on Alaska's west coast in the famous Bristol Bay region. The whale was seen several times lingering near a cannery in the community with no other whales nearby, unusual for such a young calf.
Upon being notified of the calf and getting approval from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, employees of the SeaLife Center on Monday mounted a rescue of the 5-foot-long, 110-pound whale, with help from Grant Aviation, which flew a nine-passenger aircraft to the village and back to accommodate the effort.
Jason Nunn, Kenai station manager with Grant Aviation, said that workers had to remove several seats from the aircraft to fit the whale. It lay atop a foam pad -- similar to the ones used for camping -- while wet towels were used to keep the mammal damp during the 70-minute plane ride. The plane had to be rerouted from its original flight schedule to accommodate the unexpected rescue.
“Grant Aviation delayed scheduled flights to enable this rescue to occur.
The calf is currently being fed every two hours with a milk matrix created specifically for beluga calves, which contains all of the nutrients and calories the calf needs to grow.
“The calf is swimming on his own, cooperating with feedings, and breathing regularly, which are all very positive signs. However, there are tremendous hurdles ahead. Because this animal is extremely young, it is at a very high risk of complications,” said Dr. Carrie Goertz, staff veterinarian.
Read the full story at http://www.alaskapublic.org/2012/06/20/video-rescued-beluga-whale-calf/