December 08, 2021

Free Villi


Free Villi
Russia has decided that beluga whales look more beautiful in the wild than in bathtubs. Wikimedia Commons user Rodrigo.Argenton

The Russian government has released a bunch of captured beluga whales from Srednyaya (Middle) Bay near the town of Nakhodka. The 77 whales have been parked there since 2018 amid international outcry.

They were captured for sale to aquaria and oceanaria, mostly to China.

Not only were the whales released, but their cages were also completely dismantled to prevent future use.

Sakhalin Environment Watch, an NGO, has fought for the return of the captured whales to the wild since 2018.

Since most of the belugas were captured as babies, they needed training not to rely completely on humans for their livelihoods. They were released into the Sea of Okhotsk adjacent to Nakhodka, near Vladivostok.

In other marine mammal news, Crimean border guards recently caught smugglers with an endangered Black Sea bottlenose dolphin worth R1.2 million ($16,200).

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