REYKJAVIK, Iceland – Conservationists and logistics experts in Iceland have celebrated the arrival of two beluga whales that previously lived at a sea park in China.
The whales, named Little Gray and Little White after the colors of their skin, were on a plane from Shanghai that touched down at Iceland's Keflavik International Airport on Wednesday afternoon.
The two 12-year-old females are among the marine mammals that have been selected to inhabit a sanctuary in Iceland for formerly captive cetaceans.
After an 11-hour flight, the pair's tank was loaded onto a truck for a drive to a harbor and the last leg of their journey, a boat ride to the Westman Islands archipelago off Iceland's southern coast.
The whales were performers at the sea park. Their release reflects a worldwide movement against keeping whales and dolphins in captivity.