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An environmental non-profit is looking at the shores of British Columbia and the rest of the Pacific Northwest as a possible sanctuary for Orca and Beluga whales that have been freed from captivity.

The Whale Sanctuary Project is searching for a cold water home for the selected whales.  Executive director Lori Marino told Seattle’s KPLU that wherever they chose would “have to be a safe cove or quiet bay or inlet that we can cordon off, that has access to utilities because there will be the need for feeding the animals and staff and so forth.”

Wherever they choose, Marino stresses that they would make sure they would not negatively affect the surrounding animals and environment.

While the idea for the sanctuary was announced last year at the Compassionate Conservation Conference at the University of British Columbia, it wasn’t until last week that the project received $200,000 to pay for the site search.  The money was generously donated by baby product manufacturer Munchkin, Inc.

Marino says that they should have an operational facility in five years time.

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