Release of whales from notorious Russia ‘whale jail’ complete
After nearly five months, authorities have completed the release of all 97 orcas and beluga whales.
In what have since been declared illegal captures, four Russian companies that supply marine mammals to aquariums caught almost 100 beluga whales and orcas over the course of several months in the summer of 2018. The animals have been in holding pens in Srednyaya Bay, in Russia’s far east, ever since.
Today, the Russian government began the process of returning them to the wild, announced Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Gordeyev during President Vladamir Putin's annual televised public call-in program.
Authorities from VNIRO, the Russian Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography, have begun moving the first eight animals. Six belugas and two orcas were lifted in slings by cranes and prepared for transport. They’re to be released in the Sea of Okhotsk,