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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Beluga whales make a splash off the coast of Iceland

The Sea Life Trust Beluga Whale Sanctuary is the first of its kind and is a natural environment where whales can be studied.

Back in May, News 8 introduced Little Grey and Little White, two Beluga whales that lived in captivity for 11 years in a Chinese Zoo. 

“There’s something immediately endearing about them. For me personally, I wanted to do something to help them," said Audrey Padgett, the general manager of the Sea Life Trust Beluga Whale Sanctuary, in an interview with News 8 back in May.  

The Sea Life Trust Beluga Whale Sanctuary is the first of its kind and is a natural environment where whales can be studied.  

The open water sanctuary is located around eight miles off the southern coast of Iceland on the island of Haimiey. The 32,000-square-meter space will give a chance for researchers and curious whale watchers to learn and study Little Grey and Little White and how they adapt to their new environment. 

After months of hard work, earlier this week researchers and animal care specialists released the two belugas into their new habitat.  

“It’s like letting your kids drive for the first time!” said trainer Jessica Whiton. “I'm absolutely terrified. Have I done the work that I need to do to prepare them, so they're not scared and that they're successful?"