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Let them go! Call to end the torture of killer and beluga whales

By The Siberian Times reporter
25 January 2019

Sea creatures in ‘Whale Jail’ are ‘trapped’ under ice amid growing concern over their fate.

One of the experts brought in by the FSB team for the inspection has warned that the Orcas - killer whales - are ‘dying’. Picture: Free Russian Whales

A video shows an inspection of the Centre of Marine Mammals Adaption in Srednyaya Bay near Nakhodka, previously named a Whale Jail by animal rights groups. 

More than 100 sea mammals are crowded into cramped encloses ahead of feared illegal export to China, conditions Greenpeace has previously called ‘torture’.

The mammals are destined for ocean theme parks in China, it is believed.

One of the experts brought in by the FSB team for the inspection has warned that the Orcas - killer whales - are ‘dying’.

FSB INSPECTION IN THE CENTRE OF MARINE MAMMALS ADAPTATION

Specialists from the Marine Mammal Council say they should be immediately released into the wild, so that they re-connect with their families.

Lora Beloivan, head of seals rescue centre near Vladivostok, said: ‘The check was organised by Primorsky department of FSB borderguards.

‘Along with the FSB team leading Russian specialists in biology, ecology and veterinary science went to inspect the site. 

‘At the time of our visit, the bay was not completely frozen but the whole ‘adaptation centre’ and the adjacent water area were covered with ice several centimetres thick. 

‘This is a big problem for open and covered enclosures, and the ‘adaptation centre’ workers make tremendous efforts to fight icing.' 

Whale jail in Nakhodka


Whale jail in Nakhodka


Whale jail in Nakhodka


Whale jail in Nakhodka

‘At the time of our visit, the bay was not completely frozen, but the whole ‘adaptation centre’ and the adjacent water area were covered with ice several centimetres thick.' Pictures: Free Russian Whales 

‘They are forced to use heat guns and water-accelerating compressors, and daily manually remove ice from enclosures.’

Beloivan said: ‘While beluga whales can live in an icy environment, it is absolutely impossible for them to get used to constant ice breaking and clearing so close to them. 

‘This work creates a lot of anxiety and is a potential source of severe stress which was confirmed by their behaviour when we saw them. 

‘Right during the inspection 12 people were simultaneously breaking ice and throwing bits of it over the fence.

‘The animals in that enclosure spent visibly more time underwater and moved a lot less active than the others. 

Several animals have visible changes on they skin, she said.

Changed skin colour and peeling in large pieces is not typical for Orcas. 

Orcas skin problems


Orcas skin problems


Orcas skin problems



Orcas skin problems

Changed skin colour and peeling in large pieces is not typical for Orcas. Pictures: Free Russian Whales

‘This kind of skin change may come as a result of hypothermia’, she said.

‘At least six out of 11 Orca whales have visible skin changes. 

‘Many of Beluga whales got strange dark spots around back of the neck and head.

‘Another big threat to animals is that there are no sanitation facilities - i.e. even basic mats soaked in disinfectant - to prevent spread of pathogenic micro-organisms.’

Whale jail in Nakhodka


Whale jail in Nakhodka


Whale jail in Nakhodka


Whale jail in Nakhodka

None of 90 (now 87) beluga whales has reached puberty. All 11 Orcas are babies. Pictures: Free Russian Whales

The full expert conclusion is to follow, but she said: ‘My personal opinion (and not only mine) is that the things are really bad. Orcas are dying.’

Currently there are 11 killer whales (Orcas), 87 beluga whales, 6 walruses, 9 bearded seals and about 50 spotted seals.

Recently three beluga whales were reported ‘missing’. 

None of 90 (now 87) beluga whales has reached puberty. Thirteen are less than one year old, it was established by the local Investigative Committee.

All eleven Orcas are babies. 

China is reported to have some 60 marine theme parks with another 12 under construction.

Comments (16)

Good Zoos and Marine Parks are valuable to society & science. It's not in our interests to shut them all down ... which is what this is ultimately about.



China is developing a string of new Marine Parks, to which activists are opposed. Marine mammals held by this Russian operation are probably destined mostly for China.



Activists are not 'here' for the greater-good. Nor are 'here' for the individual animal, or animals in general, but instead are chasing special political goals ... which they have been unable to achieve, through the Democratic process.



If Greenpeace and other activists want to run the world, let them run for elected Office, first. If they actually represented the Will of the People, they would have no problem getting their candidates on the Ballot, and in positions of legitimate Authority. Instead, what they offer is propaganda and media-spin.



Activism has steadily become systematically undemocratic ... and sometimes anti-democratic. That tells us what should be uppermost in mind.



Activists - and Greenpeace in particular - have gotten a tad too big for their britches.
Ted Clayton, Forks, Washington, USA
25/01/2019 20:29
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