Aquarium will not import rare whales

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A thème park in Hong Kong has decided not to import rare wild-caught Beluga whales.

Ocean Park had planned to use the whales, which are usually found around the Arctic Circle, in a new Polar Adventure display, in order to raise public awareness of climate change.

However, the park's plan had come under fire from conservationists, who said that mortality rates of Beluga whales are high in captivity, and that they are often injured or even killed during capture.

The Beluga whale is on the IUCN red list as 'near threatened'.

Allan Zeman, Ocean Park's chairman, said: "After due consideration, we have decided not to pursue an acquisition from the wild, even though the removal of some Beluga whales has been shown to be sustainable."

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