Shall we sing Baby Beluga together?
What’s that? You’ve never heard Baby Beluga?
Well then, it’s time you turn on your speakers, crank up the volume, and give Raffi a few minutes of your time. You can thank me later.
Go on. I’ll wait.
Mind blown, right?!
Okay, perhaps if you’re not a wide-eyed, animal loving youth sitting in Mrs. Ruppel’s second grade classroom, hearing Baby Beluga for the first time wasn’t as life changing for you as it was for me. There was a lot of magic in that classroom. Mrs. Ruppel had a way with kids and making learning fun. I wish there were more teachers like her in the world.
Moving to Alaska has more often than once reduced me back to the blonde haired, blue-eyes-full-of-wonder girl that sat in that classroom. Building snowmen in Denali, running sled dogs to the starting line of Iditarod, watching wild orcas from the back of a vessel, scaling the face of a glacier, and most recently; singing Baby Beluga to Tyonek the baby beluga.
How Tyonek came to the Alaska Sealife Center is a story in itself. You can read more about that BY CLICKING HERE or follow his upcoming adventures and move to the San Antonio, Texas BY CLICKING HERE.
I’d been following the story of this little guy since his discovery and transfer to the Alaska Sealife Center in Seward, which is only about 3 hours south of Anchorage. The Cook inlet beluga population is in critical danger of being wiped out and Tyonek was initially kept out of the public view; a rule set by NOAA standards to protect the precious case. I was beginning to feel like he wouldn’t be released for public viewing before our scheduled move out of Alaska when I finally heard the news.
Three days after Christmas I drove to Seward and spent the afternoon sitting in front of the big windows overlooking the pool containing Tyonek.
Of course, I made two laps around the aquarium while I was there, needing to stretch my legs after they’d fallen asleep.
I’m going to miss you Seward, you’ve been good to me.