Stranded whale future undecided

Kodiak, Alaska (KINY) There are no plans to release a beluga whale calf found on the Cook Inlet mud flats back into the wild, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Tuesday.

The Peninsula Clarion reported that the whale is not capable of surviving on his own.  The whale, named Tyonek, was less than a month old when he was found stranded last September.

NOAA released a statement on the status of the whale, "He is nutritionally and socially dependent, lacks both survival and socialization skills needed to be successful on his own in the wild, and it is likely his mother either abandoned him or died.  The calf also experienced a collapsed lung — a condition which may recur and compromise survivability in the wild by limiting his ability to dive."

The Alaska SeaLife Center has provided around the clock care for the whale for the past three months.  A decision will be made about Tyonek's placement over the course of the next few weeks, the statement said.

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