The whale that sparked decades of elementary school sing-alongs has swum to the big ocean in the sky. Kavna, a beluga whale who inspired the children’s song “Baby Beluga,” died August 6 at Vancouver Aquarium. She was 46 years old.
Kavna lived a remarkably long life: most beluga whales don’t live past 30. A quick necropsy showed that she probably died of cancer.
Kavna wasn’t exactly a baby when singer-songwriter Raffi Cavoukian wrote the famous tune. She was about 14 years old. Raffi visited the Vancouver Aquarium in 1979 and was given a chance to play with the whale. Kavna planted a big kiss on his cheek and inspiration immediately struck.
In memory of Kavna, let’s sing along: