Beluga Whales Imported To Mystic Aquarium After Legal Fight

STONINGTON, Conn. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Five beluga whales from Canada are now in their new home at the Mystic Aquarium, after the aquarium won a legal fight over the whales' importation.

The whales were transported in specially-made stretchers inside their own tanks and flown down from Canada over the weekend, according to the Associated Press.

The animal rights group Friends of Animals originally sued the US National Marine Fisheries Service last September, saying the Service shouldn't have issued the Mystic Aquarium a permit to import the whales from a Canadian facility.

The group said the permit violated federal law, including the National Environmental Policy Act.

The Aquarium said it needs the animals for research on how to protect and care for beluga whales in the wild.

In January, the Aquarium agreed to delay importing the whales until a judge decided on the cases: a judge declined to stop the transfer in March, paving the way for the belugas to come to the U.S.

Mystic Aquarium will keep the whales in its 750,000 gallon beluga habitat.

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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