Polar Bear Blog

Magical moment with beluga whale calf at Seal River Heritage Lodge

by Paul Scriver, Churchill Wild Polar Bear Guide. Video by Churchill Wild guest Irene Ilott

From time to time, when you have a little patience, amazing things seem to happen on our Birds, Bears and Belugas safari at Seal River. This past week, right in front of Churchill Wild’s Seal River Heritage Lodge, we witnessed one of those rare and special moments.

We were about to head down to the Seal River on a calm morning, when we spotted a pod of beluga whales lounging in the shallows. We stood off, hoping they were swimming in our direction, floating and waiting. Then they approached!

Beluga whale calf learning to swim at Seal River. Boomer Jerritt photo.
Beluga whale calf learning to swim at Seal River. Boomer Jerritt photo.

The energy turned in the boats when it appeared that a very small calf in the pod was struggling. The calf looked weak as the adults tenderly swam below, gently helping the calf to the surface to breath.

It took us a minute to realize what was happening. This was a newborn calf just learning to swim! As the calf slowly starting to beat its tail more and more, the adults actually seemed to be pushing it closer to the Zodiacs, as if to proudly show it off.

Then, as quickly as we had noticed them, the belugas were on their way, the calf swimming like a champ. They did one more quick drive-by of us with the calf slipstreaming behind Mom, and they headed south to the Seal River.

Magical.

The Seal River Lodge Experience

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