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The whale prison has closed. It is the largest captive release of cetaceans in history. Mediated from February 2019, these basins partially covered with ice, sheltered 10 orcas and 87 belugas under precarious conditions. After the worldwide outrage aroused, the Russian government announced the closure of the place. It's officially done.
After several months of rehabilitation, the last animals were released in early November 2019. “On three of them, we installed GPS tags. Security was provided by a Coast Guard vesselPyotr Tyupeleev, a marine researcher, said: “The Federal Institute for Fisheries Research and Oceanography has loaded these beluga whales on boats to take them 100 kilometers from their basins to Uspeniya Bay.
The belugas were released far away from where they were captured and they were small babies when they were captured so it is possible that they do not find their families.Muriel Arnal
Founder of the NGO One Voice
This place is not the original habitat of these beluga whales, but the Russian authorities have ensured that this was the best option given the weather conditions and the available budget. “It is possible that they do not find their families but at least they have not been sold to the dolphinarium market in China. They will not end up in a concrete pool in China or any other dolphinarium and that's great news“, welcomed Muriel Arnal, founder of the NGO One Voice.
The NGO, The Whale Sanctuary Project, however, issues a reservation. It calls on the Russian government to implement a short-term and long-term follow-up of the 50 belugas after their release.
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