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)
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.