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Last Updated: Sunday February 26 2006 14:26 GMT

Whale learns to blow bubble rings

Aliya the whale
A whale has been blowing visitors away at a Japanese aquarium, after she learned to make bubble rings.

Aliya the Beluga whale, who lives in Hamada City, picked up the trick when keepers noticed she could squirt water from her mouth.

They decided to use scuba gear to let her have a go with air, and found she seemed to enjoy the new game.

Visitors now think that her bubble rings are lucky, and bring happiness to anyone she blows them at.

Aliya often aims the rings at people who are watching her through an underwater observation window.

One spectator, Masanori Ishida, said: "The whale is far smarter than I imagined. She is great."

The aquarium now hopes to teach their other Beluga whales the same trick.

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