The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Reason for Shedd's First-born Male Beluga Death Discovered

By Anthonia Akitunde in News on Apr 19, 2009 5:45PM

Qannik was the first male born through the Shedd's captive beluga breeding program. (Photo courtesy Shedd Aquarium)
Qannik, the first successful male beluga whale born through the Shedd Aquarium's captive beluga breeding program, died from a bacterial blood infection according to a report released by the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, Washington three weeks after his death on March 28 . He was 8-years-old.

The necropsy report found a form of bacteria that is commonly seen in marine environments but can be fatal once it enters the bloodstream. The report also found evidence of a gastrointestinal disease which may have made the beluga more vulnerable to the bacteria.

Qannik, pronounced kah-NIK stopped eating and interacting with his trainers three weeks before he died.

"He wasn't interacting with trainers as he normally would," said Karen Wolf, chief veterinarian at the zoo, in the Chicago Breaking News report. "He never resumed eating on his own, and we never got him to turn around to make a recovery."

Qannik was moved to Point Defiance Zoo as he drew closer to sexual maturity in 2007. Although Qannik was born at the Shedd, his mother Mauyak belonged to the Tacoma Zoo, meaning he did as well.

The zoo has one remaining male beluga whale, Beethoven, who at 17-years-old is still going strong.

[Chicago Breaking News]