Georgia Aquarium continues efforts to import beluga whales from Russia


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ATLANTA — In an upcoming court hearing, Georgia Aquarium officials are expected to continue their efforts to acquire 18 beluga whales that were captured in seas off the Russian coast.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports ( that aquarium officials plan to attend a hearing Wednesday in U.S. District Court to seek documents regarding the denial of its application to import the beluga whales from Russia.

In September, the aquarium filed a complaint in federal court in Atlanta seeking to overturn the denial by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries.

The agency had expressed concern about the circumstances of the whales' capture when they denied the permit.

The 18 belugas originate from the Sea of Okhotsk in northern Russia. If the permit is granted, they would be brought to zoos and aquariums in the U.S.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

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