VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – A veterinarian at the Vancouver Aquarium says the facility’s eldest beluga whale appears to have died of cancer associated with old age.

Kavna, a female whale that was about 46-years-old, died at the aquarium yesterday.

Dr. Martin Haulena says the whale’s health declined in the past week as fluid and other debris built up in its reproductive system. He says the whale initially responded to hormone treatment, but the mammal died yesterday afternoon.

Haulena notes belugas have an average lifespan of 25 to 30 years in the wild and Kavna far outlived that.

Kavna arrived at the Vancouver Aquarium in 1976 after it was captured off Churchill, Manitoba.