The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles say “booyakasha” instead of “cowabunga.” The producer of The Smurfs has set his sights on ALF. And, oh yeah, the adorable beluga whale who inspired Raffi’s immortal tune “Baby Beluga” is dead in the water. Is nothing sacred anymore?!
Raffi Cavoukian met Kavna the whale at the Vancouver Aquarium in 1979. He thought she was a “magnificent creature”: “The folks at the aquarium brought me to poolside and the trainer helped me to play with Kavna. Kavna even came out of the water and placed a gentle, graceful kiss on my cheek and I couldn’t stop talking about it for a couple of weeks,” he told Vancouver’s News 1130 earlier this week.
Cavoukian was so moved by the encounter that he wrote a song about “an imaginary baby whale” — one who swam “so wild” and “free,” unlike the captive Kavna. “As I like to say, the song set the whale free,” he explained to News 1130. Cavoukian would later appear with the whale in a 1981 Canadian TV special.
The kiddie songsmith also published a moving ode to Kavna on his blog yesterday. “I feel like I’ve lost a very dear old friend,” he wrote. “Thank you so much for the joy you gave to me and to countless others. We will never forget you. Your beauty lives on in our hearts, and you shine every time we sing a little love song on the go.”
Kavna was 46 years old when she passed away on Monday, which means she had a pretty healthy life span; belugas tend to live between 35 and 50 years in the wild. And if nothing else, she’ll live forever in song. If you’re still bummed out, though, remember this: The banana phone will live forever. FOREVER!