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|Mariachi Serenades Juno During a Wedding|
During a July wedding at Mystic Aquarium, "Los Trovadores de America," a Connecticut mariachi band, serenaded 9-year-old Juno, our youngest and most curious beluga whale. After a guest recorded the performance with his cell phone and posted it on YouTube, the video went viral and The Today Show, CNN and many others shared this moment with millions.
A trainer was not present during the song, so Juno was interacting with the band on his own free will. While Juno can hear music, he was primarily mimicking the musicians' movements as he has been trained to move his head up and down and from side to side. Beluga whales are also called "canaries of the sea" because of their wide range of vocalizations. Mystic Aquarium trainers expose Juno, Kela and Naku to a variety of enrichment activities every day, including playing music and providing toys, which Juno often hides in the exhibit! The whales often interact with people at the viewing windows, so what you see in this video is another form of enrichment. If the whales prefer to be out of sight, they always have the option to retreat to private pools in the back of the exhibit. Juno, Kela and Naku help Mystic Aquarium scientists and biologists better understand and protect the species in the wild. Visit our encounter program page to learn how you can meet one of our beluga whales and contribute to our important conservation efforts. The video was taken at the wedding of Kimberly Mikenis and Kevin Van Aelst of New Haven, Conn. by William Kurtz of West Haven, Conn.
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