Beluga whale dies at Tacoma zoo after infection - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Beluga whale dies at Tacoma zoo after infection

Associated Press - March 29, 2009 2:05 AM ET

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - The Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma reports that Qannik (kah-NICK), an 8-year-old beluga whale, has died after suffering an unidentified infection.

An aquarium news release says Qannik died Saturday evening after showing signs of illness since March 15, including a loss of appetite and significant weight loss.

Staff treated him with antibiotics, fluids and high calorie nutrients, but tests and consultations with veterinarians failed to determine the illness' source.

The news release said veterinarians would perform a necropsy, but full results might not be known for a few weeks.

Qannik arrived in Tacoma in June 2007 from the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

Point Defiance has one remaining beluga, Beethoven.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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