The Vancouver Park Board are set to decide the future of whales and dolphins being housed at the Vancouver Aquarium as the meeting stretches into a second night.
Speaking Wednesday President and CEO of the Vancouver Aquarium, John Nightingale, said the deaths of a beluga and her daughter are particularly worrying.
“… It concerns us a lot. We always hate to see any animal die, and particularly in the case of Qila and Aurora, where those deaths appear unnatural, it’s even more concerning.”
Aquarium veterinarian Dr. Martin Haulena said the whales live much longer in their care than they do in the wild.
“You have to understand those belugas were living there for two decades or more. Longer than the average life expectancy of a beluga in the wild which is listed as 15 years by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans currently.”
The cause of death for Qila and Aurora are still not known.
Park Board Chair Michael Wiebe says there are four possible options on the table, ranging from leaving things as they are to holding a referendum on dropping the cetacean program.
More than 60 people signed up to speak at the meeting.
A decision is expected when the meeting continues Thursday night at 6 p.m.