Shedd Aquarium helps save beluga whale calf

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Marine mammal experts, including one from The Shedd Aquarium, have been nursing a beluga whale calf in Alaska over the past week.

The Shedd's senior director of marine mammals, Steve Aibel, traveled to Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, Alaska, along with beluga whale experts from five other aquariums.

The male calf, estimated to be four weeks old, is part of the "critically endangered Cook Inlet beluga whale population," according to a press release issued by the group of aquariums. There are just 328 of these whales left by The Shedd's count.

The team of veterinarians and other experts are providing round-the-clock care, taking turns in the water with the whale. With these rescues, "there is a high risk of complication and survival is estimated at less than 10 percent," according to the press release.
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