11/25/2016 14:13 EST | Updated 11/26/2017 00:12 EST

Vancouver Aquarium's beluga whale Aurora feeling better after new treatment

VANCOUVER — A sick beluga whale at the Vancouver Aquarium is showing signs of recovery after treatment that targeted her gastrointestinal tract.

The aquarium says it used a new strategy to care for Aurora based on the results of a necropsy on her offspring Qila, who died suddenly last week.

Veterinarian Dr. Martin Haulena says Aurora's progress went from grim to promising on Friday as she sought scratches and rubs from trainers who hadn't seen such behaviour in almost two weeks.

Haulena says Aurora has a long way to go before she regains full health because she hasn't consumed enough calories since becoming ill.

The 30-year-old beluga was moved to a medical pool for round-the-clock care more than a week ago.

Aurora is the only remaining beluga at the aquarium.