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Health of Vancouver Aquarium’s lone beluga whale deteriorates

A beluga whale is seen during a show at the Vancouver Aquarium on March 5, 2015.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

An ailing beluga whale at the Vancouver Aquarium appears to have taken another turn for the worse.

The facility says in a news release that Aurora showed signs of improvement over the weekend, but it appears her abdominal discomfort increased Sunday night.

Officials have said the 29-year-old animal isn't eating and appears to be suffering from cramps and inflammation, though the cause of her illness is unclear.

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The whale's 21-year-old calf Qila had the same symptoms and died last week, leave Aurora as the aquarium's lone beluga.

The aquarium's head veterinarian Dr. Martin Haulena has adjusted Aurora's treatment, but is increasingly concerned about her health.

Lab tests have been sent to veterinary experts around the world, and a marine mammal team is monitoring the animal around the clock.

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