icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Dolphinarium in Russia's Far East celebrates as baby Beluga whale is born in domestic facility for first time in history (VIDEO)

A Beluga whale, born last month at the Primorsky Aquarium in Vladivostok, has been shown to the public for the first time in its short life, the facility announced on Wednesday, marking a historic event for the tourist attraction.

Jessica, a beluga whale, became a mother for the first time in her life. Her strong and active baby was born on August 1, a press release revealed. "While it is Jessica's first experience of giving birth for 14-year-old Jessica, but it also was a unique event for Russia."

According to Igor Kostychev, who leads the dolphinarium at the aquarium facility, the calf spent the first days of her life alongside her parents learning how to swim, before putting her in front of the public. The animal now feels confident below the water, he revealed.

The newborn is now under close supervision by marine biologists.

The Primorsky Aquarium was opened by President Vladimir Putin in 2016 on Russky Island, across a long bridge from mainland Vladivostok. It is part of the National Scientific Center of Marine Biology and is the first aquarium to be included in the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Despite becoming a popular tourist attraction in the city, the first five years of the facility's existence haven't been plain sailing. Earlier this year, a trainer was put under investigation after a video leaked of him beating two adult male belugas.

Also on rt.com Russian MP moves to ban poaching of killer whales & dolphins in bid to shut vibrant but controversial marine mammal park industry

In fact, issues at the dolphinarium began even before the building was completed and opened, with a group of anonymous employees in early 2015 alleging that six animals had already died and water had become infected with bacteria.

Earlier this year, a leading Russian parliamentarian proposed a new bill to ban the catching of marine mammals, which would eventually lead to the closure of the country's many dolphinaria as collections could no longer be replenished. The draft law authored by Svetlana Bessarab, from the ruling United Russia party, would prevent the practice of taking animals such as dolphins, seals, and killer whales into captivity, including for educational purposes.

If you like this story, share it with a friend!

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.