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22 February 2019

Orcas And Belugas Held In 'Whale Jail' In Russia

You may have heard about the so-called 'whale jail' in Russia. If you have, youíll have seen the shocking pictures of belugas and orcas crammed into tiny pens. They were captured in the wild and taken from their families to be sold to marine parks in China and other countries.

Unfortunately, the captivity industry for whales and dolphins is still growing in some countries and the new marine parks want to buy whales from the wild.  This demand for new captive whales is in turn creating a demand for people in Russia to capture whales and dolphins from the wild.


More than 100 orcas and belugas have been captured illegally in Russia to sell to marine parks.  But what will happen to them? WDC wants the whales to be returned to their natural habitat where they were caught last year. But this will not be an easy solution as the winter is severe in Russia, sea ice is widespread and the whales are being held a long way from where they were captured.

Many of the whales are showing signs of illness and this is not surprising as the conditions they are being kept in are cramped, cold and miserable and so they are unable to exercise and eat properly.


WDC is supportive of the efforts of the Russian authorities to make sure that no more captures take place and other whales do not suffer in this way. Now we need a responsible plan to be put in place to help these whales go home to their families before itís too late. In the meantime, WDC will continue to strongly campaign to end captivity worldwide. The truth is that until people stop paying to see captive whales and dolphins perform in tanks, there is money to be made from shows which in turn creates a demand to capture whales from the wild.Photos © Free Russian Whales

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