Beluga Sturgeon will be Reunited with Brother
Delta Air Lines Transports 7-Foot Fish on
767 Passenger Plane
Tenn. (May 25, 2006) – Brothers Horace and Boris are rare
creatures indeed. The brothers are beluga sturgeon, separated
by fifteen years and more than 2,000 miles, and they’ll
soon be reunited at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga.
brothers have been U.S. residents since 1976, when Moscow State
University sent two hatchlings to the California Academy of
Sciences in San Francisco in exchange for a tissue sample from
one of the Academy’s preserved coelacanth specimens. The
brothers were tankmates at the Academy’s Steinhart Aquarium.
Then in 1991, Horace was sent to Chattanooga to help open the
Tennessee Aquarium is the world’s largest freshwater aquarium
and Horace the sturgeon has become a well-known ambassador for
freshwater habitats,” said Charlie Arant, Tennessee Aquarium
president. “We’re excited about adding Boris to
our Volga River exhibit and hope that he and his brother will
heighten our visitors’ appreciation for these amazing
creatures. We also hope to raise awareness about the plight
of these endangered animals in the wild.”
Beluga sturgeon produce the most highly desirable caviar and
because of this, beluga sturgeon have been fished to near extinction
in much of their range. When Boris joins Horace on exhibit at
the Tennessee Aquarium, they will be the only two members of
this endangered species currentl1y on display in the United
Boris boarded a cross-country Delta Air Lines
flight to be reunited with his brother for the first time in
was here 30 years ago when Boris and Horace first arrived in
San Francisco,” says Tom Tucker, Curator of Steinhart
Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences. “I’m
sad to see an old friend go, but I know Boris will have a great
home in Tennessee.”
preparation for the journey, biologists at the California Academy
of Sciences carried Boris by stretcher into a special transport
tank that measured eight feet in diameter and held 600 gallons
of water. They pumped the tank full of oxygen, loaded it onto
a flatbed truck, and drove it to the San Francisco International
Airport, where they were met by members of the Delta Air Logistics
team. There, Boris was placed in a special pallet and loaded
into the cargo hold of a 767 passenger plane bound for Atlanta.
The pallet weighed more than 5,000 pounds and would have been
a pricey package, but Delta Air Lines generously offered to
donate their transport services in order to make the move possible.
was the first passenger off the plane when Flight 632 landed
in Atlanta. There, he was met by biologists from the Tennessee
Aquarium, where his vital signs and water quality were checked.
Fresh oxygen was added to his tank before he boarded another
truck for the last leg of his journey. When he arrived at the
Tennessee Aquarium, he was transferred to a larger tank, where
he will stay under observation for the next 45 days to make
sure he is healthy. Once he passes his check-up, Boris will
join the more than 12,000 animals that swim, fly and crawl at
the Tennessee Aquarium. He will be introduced to the 13,000-gallon
Volga River exhibit, where he will have plenty of room to get
reacquainted with his brother.
the California Academy of Sciences first acquired Boris and
Horace, the two hatchlings were just four inches long. Today,
Boris is about seven feet long and is still growing. These fish
live to be quite old – with some records indicating a
maximum age of 100 years.
tank that Boris once occupied in San Francisco is now empty,
but it won’t stay empty for long. The California Academy
of Sciences is currently building a new museum and aquarium
in Golden Gate Park that is scheduled to open in 2008. The new
Steinhart Aquarium will host over 10,000 animals, and the Academy
is already beginning to acquire new animals for the planned
Tennessee Aquarium inspires wonder and appreciation for the
natural world. Admission is $17.95 per adult and $9.50 per child,
ages 3-12. Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation
programs. The IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium.
Ticket prices are $7.95 per adult and $5.50 per child. Aquarium/IMAX
combo tickets are $22.95 for adults and $13.50 for children.
Advance tickets may be purchased online at www.tnaqua.org
or by phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the
banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit
organization. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas,
the Aquarium and IMAX are accessible to people with disabilities.
Members enjoy unlimited visits and other benefits. Call 267-FISH
California Academy of Sciences, including Steinhart Aquarium
and the Natural History Museum, is open to the public at 875
Howard Street. Admission to the Academy at 875 Howard Street
is: $7 for adults; $4.50 for youth ages 12 to 17, Seniors ages
65+ and students with valid ID; $2 for children ages four to
11; and free for children ages three and younger. Hours are
10 am to 5 pm every day. Phone: 415-321-8000. Web site: www.calacademy.org.
The California Academy of Sciences, the fourth largest natural
history museum in the United States, is home to Steinhart Aquarium,
Morrison Planetarium and the Natural History Museum. The Academy
is in the midst of an extensive rebuilding project in Golden
Gate Park. Pritzker prize-winning architect Renzo Piano is designing
the new Academy, which is expected to open in 2008.
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