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Beluga dead at Vancouver Aquarium after ‘long and healthy life’

A beluga whale, believed to have been the oldest at any accredited aquarium in North America, died Monday in Vancouver.

Kavna, who was estimated to be at least 46 years old, died at about 3 p.m., Vancouver Aquarium staff said in a statement issued Monday. Belugas in the wild are believed to live to about 25 to 30 years old.

"At approximately 46 years old, Kavna was considered to be at the end of her life and had lived a long and healthy life in the care of the aquarium's marine mammal care team," the statement read. "The aquarium's staff and volunteers, especially its marine mammal care team who had been caring for Kavna since 1975, are saddened by this loss but share in the many fond memories experienced over the past 37 years."

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A necropsy will be performed within the next two days to determine the cause of death. Vancouver Aquarium veterinarian Martin Haulena is scheduled to provide more information at a news conference on Tuesday morning.

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Based in Vancouver, Andrea Woo is a general assignment reporter with a focus on multimedia journalism. More

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