John Bishop helps to release two captive beluga whales back into open waters in his new TV show.
John Bishop’s Great Whale Rescue sees the comedian follow the journey of the two whales from captivity to their release into the world’s first beluga whale sanctuary in Iceland.
Animal-lover Bishop meets Little White and Little Grey who have spent the past decade putting on shows to entertain audiences in Shanghai, China.
The pair were captured in the wild when they were young and brought to Changfeng Ocean World, where they’ve been for the last 10 years, but the park’s new owners are committed to returning the whales back to a life in the ocean.
Bishop said: “It can’t be right to have creatures like this, in a tank. This is a world first, we’re going to try to take two Beluga whales from Shanghai and release them in Iceland. This project will, literally, change the landscape for these mammals and I’ll be with them at every step of their journey.”
The 53-year-old quickly forms a bond with the pair, as he swims with them and helps train and coach them – despite encountering numerous setbacks to their planned release into safe waters in Iceland.
To get to their new home Little White and Little Grey are shipped halfway around the world – and face stints on a lorry, a Boeing 747-400ERF cargo aircraft and finally a harbour tugboat before getting to their new home.
The pair are now safely living in the open water sanctuary in Klettsvik Bay, having been moved there earlier this year and are said to be making good progress.
Andy Bool, head of Sea Life Trust, said last month: “Seeing them swim together and deep dive amongst the flora and fauna of the wider bay for the first time was amazing to witness.
“We’re absolutely thrilled by the progress that Little Grey and Little White have made since moving to their bayside care pools.
“They are feeding and acclimatising well to the more natural surroundings as well as all of the outdoor elements.”
The first part of John Bishop’s Great Whale Rescue kicked off tonight on ITV at 9pm and concludes tomorrow at the same time.
Featured Image Credit: ITV