Re: "Hold the bananaphone," Central Park, Aug. 8.
The media would do well to tell this story with a bit less melodrama and a lot more truth. The fact is, Kavna did not "come to" the aquarium (as if of her own free will) in 1979-she was stolen from the wild in Hudson's Bay, near Churchill, Man., for the explicit purpose of being sold to the Vancouver Aquarium.
Although she has made plenty of tourists smile, and made the aquarium's finance department smile even more, this beluga- who, in the wild, would have had a migrational range of up to 5,000 kilometres-was essentially trapped in a swimming pool for most of her life. The irony is that this allowed her to live an artificially expanded lifespan. That's like an innocent person being thrown in jail and living to 120. (Great? Not really.)
I am nauseated by the never-ending romanticisms about her "long and happy" life and outraged to hear that $80 million of taxpayer money has been given to the Vancouver Aquarium, condemning even more belugas and dolphins to suffer this way for banal human curiosity.
These are sentient creatures. They have family groups; they cry out in pain; they feel grief. They most certainly are not toys for our amusement. Want to see whales up close? Watch Discovery Channel in 3D. Want to see the "natural" behaviours of dolphins? Watch The Cove.
Liessi Haussler, Burnaby