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A Baby Whale At The Shedd Needs A Name — And Your Vote Could Decide What It’ll Be

The baby beluga weighs more than 330 pounds and has been "a strong, playful and independent addition to the pod."

Fans of the Shedd Aquarium can vote to name its beluga calf.
Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez
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DOWNTOWN — The Shedd Aquarium is trying to pick a name for its baby beluga.

The whale calf, a boy born July 3, was the first beluga born at the Shedd since 2012, according to an aquarium news release. The boy weighs more than 330 pounds and has been “a strong, playful and independent addition to the pod.”

Now the whale needs a name, and the Shedd is asking the public to weigh in by voting in the Pod Poll.

The Shedd has five name options — which all come from Inuit language words — that fans can pick from.

The names:

  • Annik, pronounce AH-nik, meaning “blizzard”
  • Imavik, pronounced EE-mah-vik, meaning “ocean”
  • Ikullak, pronounced EE-koo-lak, meaning “confident”
  • Naniitchuk, pronounced nah-nee-EET-chuk, meaning “brave”
  • Kulu, pronounced KOO-loo, a term used for babies

Participants can vote online until Thursday night. The winning name will be announced Friday.

Adult beluga whales can weigh more than 3,000 pounds and be up to 18 feet long, and they’re known for their white color and their “melon,” a large bump on their head that they use for echolocation, according to the Shedd.

The Shedd’s calf was born to Mauyak, who has four other babies.

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