Beluga whale at Georgia Aquarium died of acute heart failure

AP News
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Posted: Dec 07, 2015 10:28 PM

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Aquarium officials say the sudden death of a beluga whale that appeared to be in perfect physical condition was due to acute heart failure.

The Aquarium issued a statement Monday saying that a necropsy showed Maris' heart and other tissues had "microscopic lesions."

The statement noted that earlier in the week of her death, Maris had received a routine ultrasound that showed nothing abnormal.

University of Georgia pathologists and Georgia Aquarium veterinarians conducted the necropsy.

Dr. Gregory Bossart is senior vice president and chief veterinary officer for the aquarium. He said in the statement that "no predisposing cause for the heart failure could be determined from the necropsy."

Maris died suddenly in October. Born in 1994, she arrived at the Georgia Aquarium in 2005.