ATLANTA, Ga. -- The Georgia Aquarium wants to bring 18 Beluga Whales to the United States.
The Aquarium was denied their request to bring the whales here more than two years ago. On Wednesday, aquarium officials appeal that decision before a federal judge.
When they first asked to bring the mammals here, it started a firestorm of controversy from animal rights advocates.
The whales were collected at a research facility in Russia in 2006, 2010, and 2011.
There has been strong opposition to bringing the Belugas to the US from environmentalists who think the whales should stay put. But the aquarium argues it would do more good to have them here, where they say they can teach people to care about wildlife and serve as ambassadors.
This is a very long running fight between the two groups.