A beluga at the same aquarium said to be making playful faces at children was actually showing anger and frustration, according to an expert. "The open mouth and posturing are typical of the way cetaceans express aggression and I've seen a lot in captivity in the very same circumstances. This poor animal is telling the kids: 'Get away'. It's a threat," Dr. Lori Marino, a beluga behavior specialist with The Kimmela Center, told The Dodo last year.
"While belugas and other cetaceans in the wild make the same aggressive motions (open mouth, etc.) in this case, in my opinion, it is clearly due to the fact that these whales are crammed into this tank and have nowhere to go to escape the screaming kids poking at the glass," she said.
Juno exhibited this same behavior in 2012, which mainstream news sources covered as adorable.