More Belugas Means More Suffering: Tell Georgia Aquarium to Stop Breeding Them
Action Alert from

FROM IDA In Defense of Animals
August 2020


This spring, the Georgia Aquarium was pleased to announce the birth of a beluga calf, but adding to the number of cetaceans suffering in captivity is nothing to celebrate. Instead of the invigorating freedom that wild belugas enjoy, the confined prisoners of Georgia Aquarium experience nothing but crushing boredom and premature deaths. Your voice is needed to urge the Georgia Aquarium to stop breeding cetaceans and phase out cetacean captivity!

The Georgia Aquarium has a long and troubling past when it comes to cetacean captivity, which earned it the dishonorable distinction of being ranked fourth on In Defense of Animalsí 10 Worst Tanks for Dolphins and Whales list.

Beluga Whales
Image credcit laura-wolf-flick



Please act now by calling and writing to urge this aquarium to permanently cease all beluga breeding and phase out its beluga whale exhibit by sending Whisper and Shila, and eventually all its cetaceans, to seaside sanctuaries.

Call the Georgia Aquarium: (404) 581-4000

Once you are through the introductory messages, dial 8 and then 5 to reach the animal care department. Either leave a message on voicemail or with whomever answers the phone.

What to Say: "Please send Whisper and Shila to a seaside sanctuary, as well as all of your cetaceans as more sanctuaries become available. I hope you permanently phase out cetacean captivity and stop breeding cetaceans for good."


As staffer Dennis Christen acknowledges, not too many beluga whales are born into captivity. This is a truth the Georgia Aquarium knows all too well. Maris, a captive-born beluga, lost her first-born calf only a few days after giving birth. Her second calf died after 26 days. Five months later, Maris herself died at just 20 years old, falling well short of her potential 70-year maximum lifespan.

Marisí death followed controversy surrounding the Georgia Aquarium's attempt to grow its beluga population by importing wild-caught belugas from Russia ó despite the cruelty involved in wild captures, and the threat removing them posed to their wild populations.

Thankfully its attempt to do so was shut down, but itís clearly still determined to keep its exhibit open by trying to breed more. This May, it announced that a beluga whale named Whisper had given birth to a female calf. Named Shila, this calf is destined to spend her entire life within the small, essentially featureless, indoor tank ó if the Aquarium has its way - or die prematurely.

In addition to Whisper and Shila, four other belugas and twelve dolphins are held captive at the Georgia Aquarium, which also owns Marineland Dolphin Adventure in St. Augustine, Florida. There, 14 dolphins are regularly subjected to "hands-on dolphins" programs for the public. Remarkably, Five dolphins have died there within a span of four years from 2012 to 2015.

Itís time for the Georgia Aquarium to acknowledge the cruelty of keeping belugas in captivity.

Thank you for everything you do for animals!

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