Hello Inuk!

Meet Inuk, upclose and personal.

Inuk is the Mystic Aquarium's male Beluga whale. He is an amazing creature who shows a great deal of curiosity and intelligence. When the crowds are thin at the Aquarium and there are only a few people in front of the glass he will sometimes stay and watch those people closely. Especially children who are more calm.


Some people ask if whales have ears at the aquarium...here you can see the small opening behind the eye, that's Inuk's ear.


Status: Vulnerable, growing risk; mostly from pollution of native waters but also hunting.


IUCN Redlist: Vulnerable

Cook Inlet Alaska Population: Critically Endangered.


CITES: Appendix 2


Wow! Featured as the #2 most interesting photo for July 4th!


Unfortunately Inuk died on the 20th of February 2010 from kidney failure. He was 28 years old and will be missed.

orcagirl, yeimaya and 473 more people faved this
  • Tom Grydeland 9y

    Wonderful shot. Except for the eye, it looks like ripples in a glass of milk!
  • Camden Hackworth 9y

    Amazing close up.
  • Eric Heupel 9y

    Thank you everyone.

    If you enjoy this image of a magnificent Beluga originally from the waters of Alaska, perhaps you would be so kind as to help protect the now critically endangered population of Cook's Inlet. This distinct Beluga population has declined by over 70% in the past 20 years and now stands at under 225 adults, qualifying it, unfortunately, as IUCN Critically Endangered. Now the NMFS is reviewing their status. Currently they are not listed in the US under the endangered species act.

    Help Inuk's relatives and let the NMFS that you care about this mazing Marine Mammal. Please email them at:
    include in the subject line: "CI Beluga Status Review"

    Thank You.
  • yeimaya 9y

    Eric it is time for Inuk to be the icon for Voices. It is such a beautiful face, so searching and intelligent.

    Could we trade.... I would love to have his image looking over me at my desk, keeping me honest.

    Is there one you would like of mine. Is there a way to emailing the images and printing them ourselves. Stu has a huge printer and some amazing paper.

    Oh and what is the Halloween story about Inuk?
  • Eric Heupel 9y

    Gale, I am honored to have Inuk as the Icon for Voices.

    I will find the master file nd send you an Email.

    No trade necessary but I can think of a few of yours that I would be proud to have in my office.

    Oh, the Halloween story.....
    For their halloween night (which is attended mostly by Aquarium Members) they come up with new shows. While we were there a few days before during school hours, the trainers were taking advantage of the lull to do some training with Inuk for the show. The idea was to have him pull and interact with an inflatable dingy with a trainer in it. The trainer was going to be dresses as Captin Kidd I believe.

    As we were watching at the side of the pool, they lowered in the dingy and Inuk was ok with it. The two females were getting one on one training in a connected but separate area. The trainer got in and Inuk got interested in the dingy. He nosed it around a bit, pushing it to one side. Then he decided to taste the dingy...

    Ooops. While not very sharp, Beluga have strong conical teeth and very strong jaws. It popped the disngy which started sinking pretty quick. The trainer pddled as best as possible to the nearest shore, which turned out to be right were we were standing. She grabbed hold of my arm right as the dingy went completely flat.

    Inuk came up to her while Tammy and I were holding her arms and gave here a friendly kiss...maybe guilty sorry? Then headed back to the main area of the pool. We hauled the trainer over the fence and she and Johann talked for a minute before she headed off. It was great of her to stop and talk to Johann. Leetting him know it was the first time the dingy had been in Inuks pool, he was curious etc...

    Johann thought the best part was when Inuk came to "apologize". He is a character with a unique personality.
  • ThePhoenix101 9y

  • yeimaya 9y

    So dear Eric and Johann and Tammy when will you show your lovely spirits again???
  • Jennifer Graevell 8y

    Amazing shot!

    Unique and beautiful.
  • Indra Swari 8y

    Lovely inuk... Lovely shot.
  • Nikki the birdwatcher 7y

    Excellent close up, Inuk is a nut. I love that whale
  • pallapinco 7y

    Fantastic image! I really love this animal portrait!

    If you want take a look to this photostream...(It's where I post some serious stuff.. ) it is not so bad! I'd really appreciate it!

    Comment posted with .
  • OrcaDream 6y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Delphinapterus leucas (Beluga Whales), and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • Nalani_luvr 6y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Captive Wonders (marine animals ONLY!), and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • yeimaya 5y

    This photo would make an excellent addition to the Encyclopedia of Life. Please consider adding it to the EOL Images group.

    EOL needs images for all 1.8 million known species, so you are also invited to share any of your other good photos, too.

    Check this out... Johann would really like it I think!
  • Eric Heupel 5y

    Unfortunately Inuk passed away late last month from kidney failure at the age of 28. He will be missed.
  • Eric Heupel 5y

    Thanks Gale! We love EOL and I would be proud to see this one end up there. (Just saw one of my other shots on Wired Magazine's online site at
    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/03/why-dark-coffee-is-easier-on-your-stomach/ !)
  • DawnOne 5y

    "Sarah Palin's Alaska." is to be aired on "VERGE- Planet Green's all-new primetime programming destination"


    For example, I wrote-

    You seriously intend giving Sarah Palin money to host a show on VERGE- Planet Green? So she can further her plan to influence American public opinion with her inane but ultimately dangerous views on ecology?

    Please... reconsider airing "Sarah Palin's Alaska." Be assured I WILL NOT WATCH IT, and will urge all my friends to do likewise. I will also be less likely to turn on your channel in the future if this is the kind of programming you intend to pursue in your new line-up.


    3 contacts to Send to directly -

    Contact 1- Chris Finnegan
    Planet Green
    VP, Communications

    Contact 2- Discovery's Investor Relations department, please call (212) 548-5882 or toll-free (877) 324-5850, or email investor_relations@discovery.com

    Contact 3- Peter Liguori Chief Operating Officer

    WHO WAS (big surprise...) Peter Liguori was previously FOX network senior vice president, marketing


    The eight-episode travelogue will “reveal Alaska’s powerful beauty as it has never been filmed, and as told by one of the state’s proudest daughters,” Peter Liguori, Discovery’s chief operating officer, said in a statement.



    Liguori Chief Operating Officer Discovery Communications
    Peter Liguori is a key member of Discovery Communications' senior executive team, providing leadership and vision for the company's operational organizations, including Marketing, Discovery Studios, Corporate Communications and Corporate Affairs, Business Affairs, and Media Technology, Production and Operations, as well as playing a key role in corporate budget and business decisions.
    In addition to his operational role, Liguori chairs Discovery's Content Committee comprised of U.S. Networks general managers with a focus on maximizing the value of the company's marketing resources, network portfolio and overall corporate assets.
    Liguori joined Fox / Liberty Networks in 1996 as senior vice president, marketing, for a new joint venture, which now includes Fox Sports Net, FX, Fox Sports World, SPEED and National Geographic Channel. Prior to joining Fox, Liguori was vice president, consumer marketing, at HBO. Prior to HBO, he worked in advertising at Ogilvy & Mather and Saatchi & Saatchi. He is a graduate cum laude of Yale University.

  • Nikki the birdwatcher 3y

    Hello Inuk! by Biyoloji Günlüğü
  • Eric Heupel 3y

    Thank you Nikki! Will have to take care of this.
  • Smiilodon 3y

475 faves
Taken on May 8, 2005
  • ƒ/3.2
  • 180.0 mm
  • 1/1000
  • 200
  • Flash (off, did not fire)
  • Show EXIF
This photo is in 6 albums
This photo is in 23 galleries

Additional info

  • Viewing this photo Public
  • Safety level of this photo Safe
  • S Search
    Photo navigation
    < > Thumbnail navigation
    Z Zoom
    B Back to context