From the bulletin Portrait de baleines, September 3, 2015

This week we will be renaming this chronicle Portrait de famille! Pacalou and Miss Frontenac were seen together again on Friday, August 28 at the mouth of the Saguenay, each accompanied by their calves from last summer. A true matriarchal lineage: three generations of belugas! Indeed, Pacalou is the mother of Miss Frontenac, born in 2004.

This is only the second time that we have successfully identified a female beluga accompanied by two generations of her descendants. The reason is simple: calves rarely bear distinctive markings that allow us to recognize them as adults. To date, the only other calf that we have followed since its year of birth is Marguerite, born to Blanche in 2005. We also observed Blanche and Marguerite together last summer, both with newborns. Blanche and Pacalou are thus the first “known” beluga grandmothers in our family album!

Repeated observations of Pacalou and Blanche accompanied by their offspring tend to confirm the nature of the bonds that exist between the females of the Saguenay community. Indeed, genetic studies suggest that female belugas follow their mothers in the same summer grounds.

Pacalou was adopted in 2006 by Pascale Cauchi and Miss Frontenac by the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in 2008 as part of the first Adopt a Beluga campaign.

One can always admire the life-sized replicas of Pacalou and Miss Frontenac in front of the Marine Mammal Interpretation Centre (CIMM) in Tadoussac, where they grace the rocks of the Jardin de la Grève.


Learn more:

Beluga data sheet