Chinook

Beluga

ligne décoration

Adopted by Delta Lodge at Kananaskis

  • ID number

    DL0047

  • Sex

    Male

  • Year of birth

    Around 1977

  • Known Since

    1987

Distinctive traits

There are several ways to identify Chinook. The crenellated profile of the dorsal crest and the two small scars on the left and right flanks between the head and the dorsal crest help identify him.

Life history

We first met Chinook in 1987. At that time, he was slightly gray. From 1991 onwards, he was always noted as white. He would therefore have been born around 1977.

Chinook’s sex was confirmed by biopsy : he is male. A piece of skin taken from his back enabled us to carry out a genetic analysis.

There are two networks of males that frequent the head of the Laurentian Channel and the Saguenay Fjord. Another network of males, the “Downstream boys”, also use the head of the channel and the downstream portion of the estuary. Although their territories overlap, individuals from one network have very little contact with males from other networks. Within these networks, there are bands, i.e. small groups of males regularly seen together.

Observations history in the Estuary

1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005

Years in which the animal was not observed Years in which the animal was observed

Latest news

On September 15, 2004, we were sailing up the Saguenay Fjord at noon. The waves are big in the estuary and we’ve spotted belugas near the north shore of the fjord. The sun’s glare prevents us from making out all the animals, but we can see that the groups are very disparate : adults, juveniles, calves. Associations seem fluid and behavior rather random. Chinook is at the heart of a very dynamic herd. We even witness moments of sub-surface hunting, with the animals spitting water at the surface.

Was this Chinnok’s last sighting? We haven’t seen him for about ten years. Is he dead? Has he remained invisible to the researcher’s eye all this time? One thing is certain, his story remains a valuable source of information for our knowledge of this fragile population.

Sponsor

Delta Lodge at Kananaskis adopted Chinook (1999).