Its personality lights the harbour. Its affable nature attracts even the most skeptical of strangers. Its sense of place in a world dominated by bigger and stronger has kept its existence relatively quiet, save for the rare encounter or a colourful story in its own backyard — or salty harbour.
The beluga whale’s presence in the cool waters of the North Atlantic draws its own obvious parallels.
A mite in the marine mammal world, it continues to charm.
Another spotting of a beluga in Green Bay has caught the attention of locals in the area trying to catch a glimpse, or share some tete-a-tete, with the pale-complexioned creature.
If Newfoundland has become the North Atlantic’s ocean playground, the beluga whale has taken the role of the excited little chap who gets off the monkey bars only on the occasion to greet another park patron.
It’s been doing it for years.
Over generations, the beluga has adapted to life in the Arctic, likely the reason it stands out from other whales with its all-white colour and the lack of a dorsal fin. With a worldwide population of about 150,000 the beluga has been listed by one conservation group as “near threatened” and sub-populations have been labelled “endangered.”
You’d never be aware a threat exists by observing the beluga, however.
Its playful nature gives the perception of comfort in the sea, a sense it doesn’t know of the realities of preying species or the dangers which exist beyond other sea species.
The Middle Arm beluga, like many seen around the province, had visible scars over its body. The cause was likely self-inflicted as belugas are known to travel too close to the propellors of boats that fill our inland waters.
Getting hurt for being too friendly.
A gregarious life tucked away in a remote cold climate, finding home among rocks and salt water.
A mite in a habitat filled with giants.
The beluga and Newfoundland — seems an apt fit.