The two orcas and six belugas taken from the Whale Prison earlier this week for release have arrived at the village of Innokent'yevka in the Khabarovsk Territory. Their onward journey will take them to Cape Perovskogo in the Sakhalin Gulf. The head of the Sakhalin Environment Watch, Dmitry Lisitsyn, warned that the animals may suffer greatly and even die while being transported to Cape Perovskogo, as the road between the two locations is very bad and has been washed out due to severe rain.
Ten days of rehabilitation is planned for the whales once they arrive at their destination. While some rehabilitation is better than none, ten days of is not nearly enough time to rehabilitate animals who have been in captivity and around people for almost a year now. The release process reportedly has to be completed by October, leaving only four months time to rehabilitate and release all 86 belugas and 10 orcas. According to the director of VNIRO, Kirill Kolonchin, each animal will be fitted with a satellite tag and monitored for three months following their release.
As if it couldn’t get any worse, Jean-Michel Cousteau’s team, initially consulted by Russian officials, is not included in the release process, nor are any independent observers. There is much reason not to trust VNIRO or those who carried out the captures and are now involved in the release process. Without independent observers, potential animal deaths may be hidden from the public. This is more tragic than it is relieving.
Caption: @cetacean.inspiration - 10 hours ago