Source AP ©

Georgia Aquarium's beluga whale falls ill

One of the Georgia Aquarium's beluga whales has fallen ill and now is under 24-hour watch by aquarium staff and veterinarians.

The whale, Marina, has lost her appetite, become disoriented and injured her chin, aquarium officials said Friday. At 25, Marina is the second-oldest of four beluga whales at the Georgia Aquarium.

The primary concern of veterinarians is that the whale has lost her sense of direction, Jeff Swanagan, the aquarium's president and executive director, said in a statement.

Swanagan said the sick whale will not be able to survive if she does not regain her ability to navigate.

"You should see the immense dedication of our team, working 24 hours around the clock for this magnificent animal," Swanagan said. "There are spending four hours in 44-degree temperatures. It is a wonderful thing to see."

He said the team is giving the whale every opportunity to recover.

Another beluga whale, Gasper, was euthanized at the Atlanta aquarium on Jan. 2 after a long battle with bone disease and a weakened immune system.

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