Georgia Aquarium euthanizes sick whale

The star Beluga Whale, named Gasper, had to be put down Tuesday after battling an incurable bone disease.

The whale was given a sedative and a lethal heart-stopping drug at 6:30 a.m., the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

“The decision was made yesterday working with our medical team,” aquarium director Jeff Swanagan said. “When you get to this state you know there was no chance for improvement, you make the decisions that you have to make. It was a tough decision, but it was the right decision.”

Gasper was already sick when he was brought to the aquarium from an amusement park in Mexico City. He had not been on public display since April.

The whale had been at the aquarium since Oct. 17, 2005. A press release from the aquarium said that, “Upon arrival, he was severely underweight and had visible skin lesions.”

“We rescued Gasper knowing that he was seriously ill, but were hopeful that we might have been able to save him. The Georgia Aquarium will continue its important 4R Program (Rehabilitation, Relocation, Rescue and Research) to provide the highest quality of life for our inhabitants. To the thousands of people who have sent letters and cards to Gasper over the last year and want to ensure that the Georgia Aquarium will continue to provide caring services, I suggest making a contribution to the Aquarium’s 4R program or becoming annual pass members,” Marcus said.

3 comments

  1. Jeff says:

    “When you get to this state you know there was no chance for improvement, you make the decision you have to make.”

    There is a point in time when life support and medicine does not allow humans to die with dignity as well. Euthanasia is not “doctor assited suicide,” it is a peaceful means of ending ones suffering. Why has the whole union not taken on the precedent set by the state of Oregon in this matter?

  2. bird says:

    What!!?? Hello Sadie Fields and Dr. Frist!?! I want a protest at the aquarium!! Is Mr. Schiavo the new director of the aquarium??

    This must be why the Christian Coalition joined forces with environmental groups? Well sign me up! Save the Whales (from the secular left)!

  3. Jeff says:

    I hope you are being sarcastic. If not…did you ever see Old Yeller? That dog was suffering. Have you ever had a member in your family suffer from any degenerative terminal illness? If you have, and still do not believe in allowing an individual to die with dignity, you sir/madam are a torturous philistine. Your worse than Hitler.

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