Public invited to offer suggestions for baby beluga

For four months the Vancouver Aquarium’s youngest baby beluga has beenwithout a name, and now residents are being invited to suggest one.

For four months the Vancouver Aquarium’s youngest baby beluga has been without a name, and now residents are being invited to suggest one.

The contest to name the female calf, which was born on June 7, starts today and runs until Nov. 22, said Kent Hurl, a spokesperson for the aquarium. Submissions can be entered at vanaqua.org

“The name should reflect the Arctic origin of beluga whales and honour Inuit culture and language,” said Hurl.

A judging panel will shortlist five name suggestions, and then aquarium members will vote on their favourite, announcing the winning moniker on Dec. 2.

The winner will get an annual family membership to the Vancouver Aquarium and a $200 gift certificate for the gift shop, among other things.

Four prizes will be awarded to the short-listed entries.

The last beluga-naming contest — held for one-year-old Tiqa — drew 5,500 entries.

Six-year-old Hannah McDonald came up with the winning name, which is derived from Tuesday — the day Tiqa was born — and the calf’s father, mother and grandmother — Imaq, Qila and Aurora, respectively.