Monday 19 August 2019 | 7

Whale Prison: Three New Orcas have been Released

The release of three new orcas from a "Whale Prison" took place last August 6th despite some resistance or even sabotage ...

Hr blog

As one witness recalls :

« The orcas were ready to go to sea immediately after they were back in the water. A floating pen had been prepared, but it did was not necessary. They were released from their containers directly offshore, the three orcas were seen circling near to the shore in a tight formation, appearing once then plunging below the surface. It was amazing ! »

It is difficult indeed to imagine the immense happiness of these prisoners who have finally found the ocean after a year of suffering. But if this operation is to be announced as a success, it has not always been the case, alas, previous transfers were not the same.

On June 20th, the first convoy

On June 20th, the first convoy left Srednyaya Bay for the Shantar Islands region, taking with it three orcas and six beluga whales. They had endured a particularly difficult journey. We saw images of one beluga being lifted by a crane and leaving a puddle of blood on the floor. Cetaceans were thrown into the sea like objects, while their muscles were still stiff from the long days spent under the sun in metal containers. These terrible scenes have aroused the indignation of experts and from social media. And yet, if we are to believe the satellite beacons, the three orcas released then would have taken the right direction, away from their place of capture.

July 16th, a second disturbing transfer

Since then, orders from above have been administered, because on July 16th, the second transfer was less brutal. This time there were only three orcas. The journey was faster and their release was partially filmed. Two adult orcas have in turn returned to freedom. They unfortunately had to leave behind little Alexandra, too fearful, too attached to humans no doubt, to dare to follow them off. She begged the fishermen for a few days for her fish, but according to the most recent information, she is now heading for Sakhalin and feeding by herself.

August 1st, beginning of the third transfer of orcas

It ended six days later with the obviously successful release of Tihon, Gaika and Zoya, released into the Okhotsk Sea. For the first time, observers from Greenpeace Russia were able to monitor the release process. Pampered like queens, the orcas even had the privilege of being refreshed by ice in their container. They departure in formation, straight out to sea, gives hope for the best in regards to the success of their journey.

A fourth release is coming

Two orcas and eighty-one belugas are still waiting in their enclosures of the whale prison. In the coming days, a fourth release is planned. There is not much time left until winter, but there are still a lot of captive beluga whales waiting to be counted again, and their future is very worrying.

Concerns also, rumours that tell us that besides Cyril, a second killer whale would have died in his enclosure or that a beluga whale was found floating not far from the beach. Some even claim that the two belugas recently flown to the first Tibetan Dolphinarium were part of the June convoy.

Entrusting the rehabilitation of the ten orcas and the 87 belugas to their former kidnappers, under the complicit supervision of the scientific institute VNIRO with the Russian justice system, there was bound to be some resistance or sabotage.

It is good that President Putin is vigilant, especially with animal rights defenders and international opinions.
Regardless of the concerns that follow-on from releases, especially from belugas, One Voice is pleased to see eight orcas already making successful inroads to their group and their families. The «Russian method» is certainly cavalier but sometimes it works !

Yvon Godefroid
Hr blog

In the subject

Save our orcas! A sanctuary, not China!
Letter from Ingrid Visser to Emmanuel Macron

Comments 7

I accept that publication of my comments is subject to the code of conduct.

doris schwiers | Friday 23 August 2019

il est inutile de capturer des animaux en pleine mer pour ne leur donner qu'un minuscule espace pour vivre après.

Fesard | Friday 23 August 2019

il est inutile de capturer des animaux en pleine mer pour ne leur donner qu'un minuscule espace pour vivre après ,parmi ces personnes il y en a peut-être qui ont laissé leurs animaux sur les bords de routes des vacances

trochu | Friday 23 August 2019

Que je suis vraiment heureuse de constater le transfert de toutes ces orques vers la liberté, c'est déjà merveilleux et le comble sera lorsque tous les animaux seront libérés de leurs prisons terrestres, je pense aux cirques, aux delphinariums et autre endroits où ces animaux n'ont rien à faire.

Jocelyne | Thursday 22 August 2019

Insupportable de vivre sur une telle planète