Vancouver's baby beluga has a new name: Tiqa
5 months after the female whale was born at the Vancouver Aquarium, baby beluga has got a new name. The aquarium held a contest over the past couple of months to name the calf. The belugas are one of the big attractions at the aquarium. Vancouver Aquarium visitors burst into applause after 12-year-old beluga whale Qila gave birth to a female calf.
A six-year-old girl from England who watched the birth of Vancouver's baby beluga whale on the Internet less than a week before moving to the city has picked the young calf's new name: Tiqa.
The whale was born in June at the Vancouver Aquarium, which held a contest to name the calf.
Tiqa is an acronym, picked from the words Tuesday, the day of the week the calf was born; Imaq, her father; Qila, her mother; and Aurora, her grandmother.
The winning entry came from Hannah McDonald who had watched Tiqa's birth on the aquarium's webcam just days before her family moved to Canada.
"After moving to Vancouver they'd come down here and gotten themselves a membership to the aquarium, and they'd been here a dozen times over the summer," aquarium spokesman Kent Hurl said Friday.
The aquarium received about 5,500 submissions, mostly through its website, and a committee came up with a shortlist of five names: Tiqa, Sura, Shiya, Kuvia and Mira.
Those names were sent out to the aquarium's members, who voted on the winner.
"As soon as we started getting votes from our members, Tiqa was the runaway favourite," said Hurl.
"I guess people felt a real connection with the name. Maybe they also felt the name matches her spunky little personality. She's quite an adventurous soul."
The name is a departure from the aquarium's other whales, whose monikers have typically reflected the animals' northern roots.
Mother Qila is from the Inuktitut word for beluga; father Imaq is from the Inuktitut word for the Arctic Sea; grandmother Aurora is named after the northern lights; and Kavna, the other female beluga, is named after an Inuit myth.