See the ‘whale jails’ in the video below.
Video credit: RT
Russia has finally taken action against the illegal seizure of around 100 whales after a petition was started by animal activists and Hollywood stars like Leonardo DiCaprio.
According to the Independent, the whales are being held captive in cramped conditions in cages, notoriously known as ‘whale jails,’ near Nakhodka, the Pacific port city in Russia’s far east.
Environmental activists across the globe spent several months calling for an immediate release of the whales.
According to some reports, charges have also been filed against 4 companies which are believed to be involved in the illegal seizure of the whales.
The firms were previously fined for a similar case and have a history of selling various animals to amusement parks around the globe, the MailOnline reports.
The charges were announced by Russia’s federal security service (FSB) amid the speculation of the agency taking its cues from President Vladimir Putin.
“Expertise showed that the animals were kept in unsatisfactory conditions, and must be released into their natural habitat,” the FSB said, according to news agency TASS.
According to Russian law, whales can be detained but only for scientific purposes.
However, in this case, almost all mammal experts have claimed that the animals were detained so they can later be sold to Chinese aquariums.
There are currently 90 baby belugas, 5 baby walruses, and 11 orcas in the enclosures.
Although the Russian authorities have ordered the release of the whales, the border officials haven’t yet confirmed when they will be released.
“We are doing everything we can. No one objects to releasing the orcas, but the most important thing is to release them properly,” Russia’s ecology minister Dmitry Kobylkin told TASS about their efforts to free the whales.
The petition on change.org has been signed by more than 912,300 people and is backed by Hollywood superstars like Pamela Anderson and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Pamela Anderson wrote in an open letter shared on her website: “News about the ‘whale jail’ near Nakhodka, the icy conditions, and the suffering of the orca and beluga whales is causing international concern.”
The internet users are also outraged at the cruel detention of the whales.
“This is cruel and inhumane and totally unacceptable by any standard,” one social media user commented on the petition.
“It has been demonstrated time and again that cetaceans are intelligent and feeling creatures. By any standard of human compassion, this totally unacceptable.”
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