Beluga Whale

Belugas, also known as white whales, are marine mammals that live together in small groups known as pods in the Arctic Ocean's coastal waters. From the genus Delphinapterus leucas, they are social animals and very vocal communicators using a high-pitched twitter and series of clicks, whistles and clangs. They range from 13 to 20 feet (4 to 6.1 meters) in length and have rounded foreheads and no dorsal fin. They are slow swimmers and mainly eat fish, crustaceans and other deep-sea invertebrates.

Audio: Male beluga whale mimics human speech

Scientists have recorded human-like sounds from a male beluga whale. Photo: AP

It could be the muffled sound of singing in the shower or that sing-songy indecipherable voice from the Muppets’ Swedish Chef.

Tuesday, 23 October, 2012, 11:24am

Park's decision 'bad for belugas'

A marine mammal expert who spent four years studying beluga whales in Russia claims the decision not to import them to Hong Kong may do more harm than good to the near-threatened species.

Marine mammal scientist Olga Shpak said Ocean Park bowed to political pressure by deciding not to exercise its option to import six wild-caught beluga whales from the Okhotsk Sea.

2 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

Survey findings reveal a pro-import public

The results of two surveys, being made public for the first time, are surprising in the light of Ocean Park's decision to cancel its import of beluga whales from the wild.

19 Sep 2011 - 12:00am


Display of whales has its benefits

Ocean Park was designed to bring the public up close and personal to living marine animals.

This increases the value of marine life in the eyes of people who rarely have the funds and opportunity to see these animals in nature.

9 Sep 2011 - 12:00am

Cousteau's son urges Zeman to save whales

The son of the late, world-renowned oceanographer Jacques Cousteau has called on Ocean Park to help release back into the wild the six beluga whales it considered importing to Hong Kong.

5 Sep 2011 - 12:00am

Beluga whales won't be coming

Ocean Park has abandoned its plan to import wild-caught beluga whales from Russia, following an outcry from animal welfare groups.

Chairman Allan Zeman and his fellow executives decided yesterday morning to drop the option of bringing in the near-threatened species for the park's new Polar Adventure attraction, which opens next year.

30 Aug 2011 - 12:00am

Plan for whale show opposed

Ten animal welfare groups have united to urge Ocean Park to abandon its plan to catch wild white whales for public display.

The demand by the Asia for Animal Coalition follows news that the park had commissioned a survey of Hongkongers to see whether they supported the capture of the hump-headed creatures, also known as belugas.

20 Aug 2011 - 12:00am

Up to 29 belugas a year could be caught, report says

Beluga whales are classified as 'near threatened', but up to 29 can be removed each year from the wild in Russia.

That is the finding of a four-year sustainability assessment commissioned and sponsored by five aquariums around the world, including Ocean Park.

18 Aug 2011 - 12:00am

Captive animal industry has no place in a civilised community

How interesting it is to see Ocean Park on the defensive, joining other aquariums in a desperate bid to find a way to justify their outdated existence and paying for a sponsored feature ('Looking to the Future', February 1) to tell us about it.

16 Feb 2011 - 12:00am

Caviar Kaspia

Fare European and Russian, with a focus on caviar. The menu has been reworked since the recession hit and many dishes are now more affordable.

Ambience Cool and sleek in white, black and aquamarine, with some seating in padded light blue booths and other tables open to the mall. Makes an ideal spot for an indulgent start to a day of designer shopping.

23 Apr 2009 - 12:00am

Go for glam

Tequila Kola's store in Central (shop 228, Prince's Building, tel: 2520 1611) is a fraction of the size of its Ap Lei Chau outlet, which is why it's been kitted out judiciously. The texture-rich interior features signature pieces of furniture plus giftware and accessories. Worth checking out is its Beluga range, which has Euro styling and a touch of glam.

30 Sep 2007 - 12:00am

Piaget's perfect people-watching dinner

Watchmaker Piaget promised those lucky few who were invited to an exceptional dinner and they didn't disappoint.

Blue and silver candies sent in a specially designed box with an invitation was only a prelude.

Many of the guests who turned up at the cocktail hour wandered around outside the ballroom admiring the new Protocole Collection.

15 Sep 1997 - 12:00am