Norwegian fisheries officials have decided to let a tame white whale, which recently sought contact with local fishing boats, just swim and frolic in the waters off Norway’s northern city of Hammerfest. They want to wait and see whether the now internationally famous beluga whale can manage on his own.
“What’s happening now is basically nothing,” Olav Lekve of Norway’s Fiskeridirektoratet told state broadcaster NRK on Wednesday. Lekve said officials think the whale, now known as “Hvaldimir,” should decide on his future himself, even though many believe someone should take care of him.
“We have chosen to let him live in freedom wherever that may be,” Lekve said. “So we’re considering not moving him anywhere. We’ll see if he can adapt to the wild.” He said researchers have registered indications that the whale can find his own food, and they’re asking local residents to refrain from feeding him.
Speculation continues to swirl over the whale’s background, with most thinking he escaped from captivity in Russia. While some think he was trained for military purposes, others think he escaped from a water sports facility where he was also used to help treat mentally disturbed children.