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Aurora’s necropsy results ‘inconclusive’: More tests needed

Necropsy on aquarium beluga “inconclusive”
The Vancouver Aquarium says the necropsy on Aurora the beluga whale was inconclusive, and they're still trying to determine what killed her. Linda Aylesworth has more.

The Vancouver Aquarium says the necropsy results from Aurora the beluga whale are “inconclusive” and more tests are needed.

Dr. Martin Haulena, head veterinarian at the Vancouver Aquarium, said “I will not rest until we find some answers.”

Future tests will involve a 360-degree review of operations and establishing an expert panel of pathologists and forensics.

Dr. John Nightingale, president and CEO, said Aurora’s liver was “dramatically compromised” but said more tests will be needed.

PRESSER: The aquarium’s head veterinarian Dr. Martin Haulena said Monday, that the necropsy results showed no clear reason for her death.

Dr. Haulena provides update on death of Aurora
Dr. Haulena provides update on death of Aurora

The aquarium thanked the public for their love and support during this time.

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Aurora was the second beluga whale to die at the facility. She had been battling a serious illness and passed away Friday night.

The 29-year-old whale had been monitored by aquarium staff after her daughter, 21-year-old Qila, passed away on Nov. 16.

No other mammals will live in the beluga pool until answers can be found.

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The chair of the Vancouver Park Board says she will introduce a motion to have a plebiscite in the 2018 election. It would be on the issue of whether whales should be held in captivity at the aquarium.

Some people would like to see high-tech virtual encounters instead.

“Why do we need to have the actual whales in captivity when they can be replicated with reality?” asked commentator Sandy Garossino“I would love to see the Vancouver Aquarium take a leadership role.”

Aurora catches a fish thrown by a trainer while being fed at the Vancouver Aquarium in Vancouver, B.C., in a June 25, 2014, file photo.
Aurora catches a fish thrown by a trainer while being fed at the Vancouver Aquarium in Vancouver, B.C., in a June 25, 2014, file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Linda Aylesworth
Linda Aylesworth
Linda Aylesworth
Linda Aylesworth
Global News
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Aurora at the Vancouver Aquarium during a snow day.
Aurora at the Vancouver Aquarium during a snow day. Vancouver Aquarium

Aurora was the last beluga being held at the aquarium. The facility’s five other belugas are living at various locations around the United States while plans for expanding the Stanley Park facility, including doubling the surface area of the beluga tank, are underway.

WATCH: Two beluga whales die weeks apart at Vancouver Aquarium. Robin Gill reports.

Two beluga whales die weeks apart at Vancouver Aquarium
Two beluga whales die weeks apart at Vancouver Aquarium

According to a Vancouver Aquarium statement, experts from around the world had been flown in to provide around-the-clock care for Aurora, but despite their best efforts she passed away “surrounded by the people who loved her, some whom have cared for her since she first arrived in 1990.”

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