KENAI, Alaska (AP) – Wildlife officials say a beluga whale calf found stranded on the Cook Inlet mud flats will not be released back into the wild.
The Peninsula Clarion reported Sunday that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the whale is not capable of surviving on his own.
Experts say the whale, named Tyonek, had been less than one month old when he was stranded in September 2017. They say he is nutritionally and socially dependent.
The calf has been under constant care at the Alaska SeaLife Center for more than three months.
NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator Chris Oliver says the whale is the first rescued Cook Inlet beluga calf to survive.
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