Ken Ramirez and Kayavak

Ken Ramirez, VP of Marine Mamals & Animal Training at Shedd Aquarium feeds beluga named Kayavak and trainer Gretchen Freimuth dives with her after feeding. When she was less than 5 months old and more than a year from being weaned from nursing, Kayavak, a beluga whale calf, lost her mother, who suddenly died. Many people thought, because she was so young, she was doomed, too. She became the first human reared beluga whale in history. Now a young adolescent, she is fully integrated into the Shedd's beluga pod.
Tribune photo by Zbigniew Bzdak
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