The Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise is boasting its new painters, as beluga whales at the aquarium are taught to paint using special brushes. With a trainer guiding the whales, the marine animals are then able to show their inner Picasso.
According to the aquarium’s spokesperson, showing the beluga whales’ new learned skill is part of their season’s gimmick called ‘geijutsu no aki(autumn, the best season for art).’ “The ideal is that a beluga will emulate what one of our customers has painted – of course trainers will guide the whale to do that,” said the spokesperson, adding that they will watch out how the dolphins manage. Located at the Yokohama Bay, the aquarium involves two female and one male beluga whales for their ‘geijutsu no aki.’ The three belugas will be in rotation once during weekdays and twice a day during weekends.
This may be an in-season attraction of the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise featuring unusual skills of the beluga whales, which are also known as white whales, but environment activists have been opposing the training of dolphins and whales to be featured in aquariums. Beluga whales are also considered threatened species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Despite protests from environment groups, Japan has been obstinate in keeping and promoting aquariums.