Kavna, Aurora & Qila beluga whale show @ Vancouver Aquarium

Beluga whales Kavna, Aurora and Qila charm visitors during the ‘Beluga Show’ at Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011. The aquarium’s beloved beluga whale Kavna, which was estimated to be 46-years-old, died of cancer associated with old age on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012. Kavna was the oldest beluga at any accredited aquarium in North America. Beluga whales in the wild live about 25 to 30 years. Kavna had charmed visitors at the aquarium since 1975. This beloved beluga inspired the iconic children’s song “Baby Beluga” by Canadian singer Raffi Cavoukian following a brief encounter with the whale in 1979. The song tells the story of an imaginary beluga’s life in the deep blue sea. Following it’s death, Raffi tweeted, “Kavna will be missed by all who knew her. LOVED meeting her in ’79, the magnificent 16 yr old beluga whale who inspired Baby Beluga.” Kavna was caught in the wild off Churchill, Man., and became Vancouver Aquarium’s first whale in 1975. It was pregnant at the time and gave birth to a calf, Tuaq, which died several months later. In 2006, Kavna was featured on a Canadian postage stamp to commemorate the aquarium’s 50th anniversary. Vancouver Aquarium currently has two remaining beluga whales. Aurora, a female, was caught off Churchill, Man., in 1990. In July 1995, Aurora gave birth to female calf, Qila. There have been three other whale deaths at the aquarium in recent years. Last September, Tiqa, a three-year-old calf