Normal values and ranges for 31 clinical hematology and serum chemistry tests are reported for the beluga or white whale (Delphinapterus leucas). The values were collected over a 6-yr period from eight belugas maintained for display at Sea World (San Diego, California, USA) facilities and represent long-term evaluations for each animal in a controlled environment. They represent the first report for a number of serum chemistry values for the beluga. Normal values such as these provide an important data base from which to detect diagnostically important changes in health status for belugas in a zoological setting. They also establish a baseline from which to evaluate differences in normal values in free-ranging belugas and from which to diagnose disease problems in wild populations.
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Vol. 24 • No. 2