Mystic Aquarium getting 5 Beluga whales from Canada


A Beluga whale plays with tourist as they visit Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut, on June 18, 2017. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

MYSTIC, Conn. (AP) ─ Mystic Aquarium is preparing for the arrival of five Beluga whales from a zoo and amusement park in Canada after navigating approval processes on both sides of the U.S. border and overcoming legal challenges from environmental groups.

Government officials from Fisheries and Oceans Canada recently approved the export of the whales from Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ontario to Mystic, which specializes in Beluga research.

That follows U.S. approval of the move last September.

Experts from both facilities were in Niagara Falls Wednesday examining the four female and one male Belugas and preparing to fly them to Connecticut, possibly by this weekend.

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