Despite its best efforts, the Vancouver Aquarium's attempt to defend beluga whale captivity failed miserably. After the Oceanic Preservation Society tweeted the fact that in the wild, belugas swim 59 to 79 km -- the equivalent of 750 to 1,000 laps for a beluga in a tank in Vancouver -- the aquarium retaliated with this tweet:
While it's true that captive belugas don't have to face stressors like lack of food or predators, belugas are notoriously difficult to keep healthy in captivity -- in fact, most are captured from the wild because they rarely reproduce in tanks.
The Vancouver Aquarium is far from immune to this phenomenon, as this simple yet powerful infographic from VanAquaFacts points out. All of these calves were born at the facility, and died shortly after:
The aquarium has been under fire lately for its whales and dolphins -- an online petition calling for the end to the practice of keeping cetaceans at the attraction has gotten over 16,000 signatures so far.