Year of birth
With two deep scars in his dorsal crest, DL0058 is easy to identify. The scar located on the hind portion of his dorsal crest has changed a few times between 2007 and 2009.
When we first encountered DL0058 in 1992, he was already entirely white. Belugas fade from gray to white in colour between the ages of 12 and 16. DL0058 would therefore have been born before 1980.
His sex was confirmed by genetic analysis of a biopsy taken in 1994: DL0058 is a male. In fact, this was one of the very first biopsies taken from a free swimming beluga. DL0058 paved the way for an important research program that continues to this day and which has enhanced our knowledge not only of belugas’ social lives, but also of their diets and their exposure to contaminants.
Like other adult bulls of the population in summer, DL0058 spends most of his time in herds composed essentially of males. Three networks of males are known: two of these navigate the Saguenay Fjord and the head of the Laurentian Channel, while the third one, the “Downstream Boys”, also uses the head of the Channel as well as the downriver portion of the Estuary, but avoids the Saguenay. DL0058 has never been observed in the Saguenay to date. This is also the case for Louveteau and Marinis, two other males with whom DL0058 is regularly spotted.
As the years pass by, males have a tendency to form stable groups of companions. These associations are established gradually and may play a role in belugas’ reproductive lives.
How DL0058’s story unfolds will teach us volumes on the evolution of belugas’ social lives. By better understanding how belugas live, we will better be able to protect them.
Adopting a beluga costs $5000 per year. Two approaches allow you to contribute in the way that suits you best: Adopt your beluga in your own name or as a group.
Whether you wish to adopt a beluga in your name or that of your business or launch a campaign for a joint adoption, contact our team by Email or by phone at 418-780-3210. Our team will provide you with all the tools to carry out your campaign online and promote it in your networks.
Observations history in the Estuary
Years in which the animal was not observed Years in which the animal was observed
Under dark clouds and surrounded by a fine mist, we observe DL0058 at the mouth of the Saguenay. He is in a herd of about 60 individuals. Despite working conditions made challenging by the weather, we count five large groups of ten or so individuals. The animals head toward the Prince Shoal Lighthouse, which dominates the mouth of the Saguenay Fjord.
Then, after spotting a porpoise carcass, we must briefly interrupt our photo-ID work. We immediately contact Marine Mammal Emergencies (1-877-722-5346), but the carcass is not very fresh and has already begun to decompose. The Parks Canada team nevertheless decides to recover the animal and will investigate the cause of mortality.