Baby Beluga Dead: Kavna, The Whale That Inspired Raffi Song, Passes Away At Vancouver Aquarium

It’s probably been a pretty long time since you sang “Baby Beluga,” but I bet you still know all the words. Kavna, the beluga whale that inspired the famous children’s song, passed away this week at the Vancouver Aquarium.

The Canadian Aquablog reports that Kavna passed away at the age of 46. She was believed to be the oldest beluga whale in a North America aquarium.

The Aquablog writes:

“While our staff and volunteers are saddened at the loss, we’re left with very warm memories of her. At about 46 years of age, she was at the end of her natural life and will be greatly missed by all… Beluga whales in the wild are believed to live to about 25 to 30 years old. (Kavna) lived a long and healthy life in the care of the Aquarium’s marine mammal care team. The Aquarium’s staff and volunteers, especially its marine mammal care team who had been caring for Kavna since 1975, are saddened by this loss but share in the many fond memories experienced with her over the past 36 years.”

City TV reports that more than 30 million people visited Kavna and millions more were introduced to the whale via song. Children’s singer Raffi Cavoukian wrote “Baby Beluga” in 1979 after meeting Kavna.

Cavoukian said:

“It was my first time at the aquarium, and I was very fortunate that I got to be taken poolside and the trainer helped me play with Kavna… She was just so beautiful. She was so playful and she had a very pure spirit and you could swear she smiled at you.”


After learning about Kavna’s death, Raffi said:

“I felt sad and I also felt a lot of joy for the privilege of having gotten to know her and the fact that she stirred me to write that song.”

Do you remember the song “Baby Beluga.” In case you forgot…