The oldest beluga whale at the Vancouver Aquarium, also believed to be the oldest at any other accredited aquarium in North America, has died.
Kavna, 46, died at about 3 p.m. PT Monday afternoon.
The aquarium says she had been behaving differently in recent days, and they believe she may have been nearing the end of her life.
“Beluga whales in the wild are believed to live to about 25 to 30 years old,” the aquarium said in a statement.
“At approximately 46 years old, Kavna was considered to be at the end of her life and had lived a long and healthy life in the care of the aquarium’s marine mammal care team.”
A full necropsy will be performed to determine the cause of death. The Vancouver Aquarium plans to release more details Tuesday morning.
Kavna was the inspiration behind the hit “Baby Beluga” by Canadian singer-songwriter Raffi.
“Kavna will be missed by all who knew her. Loved meeting her in ‘79, the magnificent 16 yr old beluga whale who inspired Baby Beluga,” the musician, whose full name is Raffi Cavoukian, wrote on Twitter.
“Kavna had a profound impact on me. Her voice is likely in the intro and close of the Baby Beluga recording,” he added, saying he wrote the song for an imagined universal baby beluga.
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