Lifestyle Pets Beluga Whales Move from Aquarium to Sanctuary, Returning to the Ocean After Years in Captivity Beluga whales Little Grey and Little White are now in the Iceland sanctuary's care pools as they prepare for their return to open waters By Kelli Bender Published on August 12, 2020 02:24 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Aaron Chown/shutterstock Little Grey and Little White are home again! According to USA Today, the two beluga whales recently made a 6,000-mile journey for an aquarium in China to the first open water sea sanctuary for beluga whales. The SEA LIFE Trust Beluga Whale Sanctuary, located in Klettsvik Bay, Iceland, confirmed in a release on Sunday that the pair of whales had safely made it to the facility's care area and "are now in their bayside care pool and will need a short period of time to acclimatize to their new natural environment and all the outdoor elements before their final release into the wider sanctuary in Klettsvik Bay in the Westman Islands off the south coast of Iceland." Once Little Grey and Little White have settled into their new surroundings, they will be back in the ocean's open waters for the first time since 2011, when the whales were taken from a Russian whale research center. Aaron Chown/shutterstock Tahlequah, the Orca Whale Who Carried Her Dead Calf for 17 Days, Is Pregnant Again "We’re absolutely delighted to be able to share the news that Little Grey and Little White are safely in their sea sanctuary care pools and are just one step away from being released into their wider open water home," Andy Bool, head of SEA LIFE Trust, said. Aaron Chown/shutterstock Aaron Chown/shutterstock "Following extensive planning and rehearsals, the first stage of their release back to the ocean was as smooth as we had hoped and planned for," he added. "We are carefully monitoring Little Grey and Little White with our expert care team and veterinarians and hope to announce their final release very soon." South Atlantic Humpback Whale Population Rebounds After Nearly Going Extinct For more information about the SEA LIFE Trust and their sea sanctuary, visit the charity's website.