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Where do the beluga live?

Primorsky Oceanarium: sea canaries, secrets and surprise for spectators

Where do the beluga live?

About why the construction of the future tourist locomotive is being delayed, how it lives in the dolphin enclosures, what prevents the sea inhabitants from the sea canaries and whether it is true that animals in temporary cages perish from bullying, the scientific curator of the project, the director of the Institute of Marine Biology, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Academician Andrei Adrianov.

«The scientific and educational complex "Primorsky Aquarium" as an institution was created in 2011 in order to start dealing with the problems associated with the aquarium - the accumulation of animals, their adaptation, training, - says Adrianov. “At the same time, the personnel train, learn to interact with animals and provide for their needs.”

We are sitting at a long table in the office at the Institute of Marine Biology, Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, where the academician kindly invited me to a conversation. In the open window that opens onto the frozen Amur Bay, the sun shines brightly. Andrei Adrianov talks about who and how he now lives in the aquarium. According to him, 11 beluga, 3 Dolphin Afalina, 2 sea lion, 3 walrus, 2 seals, 4 fur seals live in the scientific and adaptive building, which has been operating for several years already, and the account of fish and invertebrates goes to hundreds.

“Despite the fact that the main building has not yet been built and we are not transferring the animals to its huge tanks and aquariums, they are kept in fairly good conditions,” he says. - This is a scientific and adaptation building, which is completely ready and has been functioning for several years. There is an infrastructure for keeping fish and temporary keeping of marine mammals and open-air cages in Paris Bay, directly opposite the aquarium. Three aviaries 12 by 12 meters, one - 24 by 12 meters, one - 35 by 12 meters. 11 belugas live in one open-air cage, because winter is so much more fun for them. These animals can be kept in such conditions, moreover, these conditions are optimal for them: our Arctic white whales, beluga whales, live in the ice. "

Talking about how belugas play in enclosures and demand the attention of coaches, Adrianov smiles. He reports that white whales are called sea canaries due to the fact that these animals have a well-developed sound communication, they constantly communicate. According to him, when the beluga whales had just been brought to the open enclosures in Paris Bay, complaints from local residents (“Who have never been there before,” Adrianov grins) immediately poured down on loud cries of animals. In fact, sea canaries communicate in this way if they are healthy, active and playful.

“The animals kept in the aquarium have been collected, found, picked up in natural conditions. Moreover, many of them would have inevitably died. The same sea lions. They were picked up by dying puppies in a rookery when the adults had already left. This goner came out, and now he has turned into a boy weighing 350 kilograms, who will grow into an uncle weighing one and a half tons. The cubs were saved. Two small walruses were saved. But they didn’t save the sea otter, ”the academician says sadly.

About death and salvation

Andrei Adrianov talks about the fate of the sea otter or (sea otter, sea otter), who was found in the coastal waters of Avachinskaya Bay in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. He spent a month swimming in coastal and domestic sewage, he ate what he had, he was fed by local residents.

“Sea otters are very sensitive to the purity of the water, because, unlike a seal, which has subcutaneous fat, sea otters are warmed only by their skin, only their fur,” says Adrianov. - Fur is the densest and warmest in the animal kingdom, but you can live with it only in clean water. If it is damaged, it loses its ability to isolate and protect the sea otter from the cold, and the animal freezes. Now sea otters live in the south of Kamchatka, Cape Lopatka, and on the Kuril Islands, there is pure water. We cannot say how the sea otter ended up at the coastline in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Maybe someone caught him, then released him, it is unlikely that he got there himself, ”the academician suggests.

According to him, due to the fact that the calanan had been feeding in domestic sewage for a month, he became ill with enteritis - he could not be cured. At another time, a young beluga died. It turned out that she had a congenital lung defect. In nature, such an animal dies very early, and in the aquarium the beluga was kept in hothouse conditions and lived longer.

“A very difficult moment - the death of a dolphin, also from an illness. Dolphins sit in pairs, and one pair got an infectious disease that could be carried by humans. Two animals fell ill, but only one was saved. Dozens of animals died from this disease in one aquarium, but this is usually not advertised. In this case, only one dolphin died, but one was cured, ”the academician shares.

The veterinary service, according to him, is really good at the aquarium. Three specialists are constantly working here, and, if necessary, they contact colleagues from other countries. “It was like that when walrus tusks were removed here in the operating room,” recalls the academician. - This is necessary when keeping in captivity, so that the animal does not injure them on hard surfaces, this is a worldwide practice. During these operations, the mortality rate is quite high in the world, since it is very difficult for walruses to recover from anesthesia. However, these operations are necessary. And our walruses have endured these operations, ”the source proudly states.

“The electricity was cut off in the spring. In the evening there was only a shift. People gathered, began to transplant karangs, which need to move continuously in a circle, while there must be strong blowers that create this flow, aeration of the water. And the electricity went out. Yes, some of the fish died. But in spite of everything, we managed to save quite a lot, ”Adrianov sums up.

He emphasizes that animals died not at once and massively, as rumor believes, but at different times during the functioning of the scientific-adaptation corps and for natural reasons. According to him, tragic events are inevitable. “In nature, someone is constantly dying from something. And we want everyone to live forever. Unfortunately, this is impossible, ”the interlocutor shrugs.

About anonymous letters

The above facts about the death of animals became public after the local news agencies published an anonymous letter, allegedly signed by employees of the oceanarium. It said that animals are massively dying from bullying and poor conditions. Not indifferent citizens made a petition to the president with a request to understand what is happening and improve the living conditions of animals.

“The anonymous letter, in particular, says that animals are kept in dirty water, the pH of which is 1. This is the acidity of gastric juice,” Adrianov grins. - In such water, animals would be digested. Yes, there are problems, failures in the life support system, but they are immediately eliminated. The team is already trained enough. There were no such groups in our country ”.

According to him, the level of veterinary service in this institution is high enough to contain animals. For example, in beluga whales every two weeks, blood is accurately drawn from the tail, their physiological state is tracked by behavior, appetite, and clinical blood tests. In watercourses, water samples are regularly taken for hydrochemical and microbiological analysis.

In addition, there is a veterinary laboratory in the aquarium that allows you to perform a clinical analysis of body fluids, there is a device for ultrasound diagnostics and x-rays.

Adrianov tells that the information closure of an object gives rise to information hunger for both the public and journalists, on the fertile soil of which anonymous letters and all sorts of rumors fall. In the absence of other information, they form a persistent negative attitude towards the aquarium, the academician is sure.

“We are now unable to raise this curtain, which closes information about this most interesting object from the public,” says the academician. "Partly due to the fact that the current building is actually at a construction site, and it is not safe to conduct excursions there." According to him, recently the environmental prosecutor's office with experts from independent organizations drove into the facility. They took water samples from all the tanks, looked at the animals and the trainers. The results of the examination are expected to be ready shortly.

Surprise for the audience

Andrei Adrianov outlined in several strokes what awaits the audience in the grandiose oceanarium on Russky Island.

“Spectators will be able to watch the performance both in the dolphinarium - on warm-water animals, under a warm winter roof - and in open water. It is very close, drive a few hundred meters along the water. For this, giant pontoons with a deck were bought, hundreds of people can stand on them. Most very large aquariums have such large tanks in the open air. There is practically no roof. We have very good conditions, but they will be even better, ”the scientist is sure.

According to him, the dolphinarium of the main building is designed for 14,5 thousand tons of water, and the giant arena where animals will perform will be 800 square meters of water mirror 9,5 meters deep. Tanks are connected to this arena, where bottlenose dolphins, beluga whales and killer whales will live separately, in separate “apartments”. The tonnage per animal complies with all international norms and standards. The conditions will certainly be the best in the country and some of the best in the world, the academician believes.

“The body of the oceanarium is made in the form of a wave throwing a shell onto the shore,” the interlocutor reveals the secret. - There are no right angles, this is a unique, recognizable building, the first one seen by ocean-going ships going from the Ussuri Bay to the roadstead to the Eastern Bosphorus. Films created with the help of computer graphics will be broadcast on special screens in the aquarium. A giant life-size whale figure will hover under the ceiling, very similar to a real animal. It will create the feeling that a real whale is floating above you. "

The aquarium is planned to be completed by the end of 2015 of the year - this is possible if the new general contractor, who came to the construction site in February, takes up the job without delay. Tickets are planned to be made available to the public, and the number of animals will be regularly increased. Someone will catch, and someone to buy, including abroad.


The total area of ​​the oceanarium will be 35 thousand square meters. There will be expositions and scientific laboratories. In addition, the complex of buildings "Primorsky Oceanarium" includes an entrance and a park zone, a scientific and adaptation building, a zone of engineering structures and the protection of historical and cultural monuments (fortifications of the island). In the left wing of the aquarium is the main reservoir with a 75-meter underwater tunnel for visitors. In the east there is a dolphinarium with an arena and stands for spectators. The total volume of water in the aquarium is almost 10 thousand cubic meters. The main building will house 500 aquariums for 18 thousand species of fish and mammals.

The discovery of the object was postponed several times. Initially, it was claimed that it would be handed over to the APN summit of 2012. Then the opening date was moved to the second half of 2013 year. It was alleged that by the end of October 2013 construction was completed at 80%, but it is still necessary to mount engineering equipment to support the life of marine animals. The last expected date of the object's opening was called autumn of 2014 year.

In November last year, the main owner and general director of the NGO Mostovik, the general contractor for the construction of the facility, Oleg Shishov, was arrested in Moscow and placed under house arrest, he was charged with fraud, and a day later the Directorate for the construction and reconstruction of facilities by the presidential administration filed The Arbitration Court of the Omsk Region a claim to terminate the contract with "Mostovik" for the construction of the oceanarium. According to the investigation, in 2010-2014, Shishov, together with the head of the Directorate for Construction in the Far Eastern Federal District, Andrei Poplavsky and others, stole about 2 billion rubles allocated from the budget for the construction of the oceanarium and did not ensure the construction of the facility on time. The investigation believes that Poplavsky was also involved in the theft of more than 40 million rubles allocated for the construction of the same facility.

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