In a 2012 open letter opposing the Georgia Aquarium's plans to import belugas captured abroad to its exhibit, marine mammal scientists from Whale and Dolphin Conservation and elsewhere pointed out that keeping these animals captive was quite literally killing them:
Given that the sources of mortality in the two environments [wild and captive] must differ, it is highly plausible that the primary cause of mortality in captive belugas is related to stress, which would be long-term or chronic in a captive situation. Given the known deleterious effect of chronic stress on immune function, it is plausible to argue that captive belugas lead less healthy lives than their wild counterparts, both psychologically and physically, which would explain why, despite protection from natural hazards, they do not live longer in captivity.
As of March 2015, the aquarium continues to seek permission to import wild-caught orcas as the success of its own breeding program is plagued with uncertainty.
Only time will tell if this most recent beluga newborn's condition will improve, but as long as she is kept captive, a tragic fate still awaits her.