Animal activists in Russia are working to free over 100 marine animals held captive in terrible conditions in what they’re calling a “whale prison.” In Russia, it is illegal to capture whales unless it is for scientific or cultural purposes. Late in 2018, the activists exposed the facility off the coast of the Russian Far East for capturing 90 belugas and 12 orcas. Russian prosecutors have called the capture illegal.

In this facility, the animals are being kept in small, crowded pools. There are 12-15 baby whales crammed on top of each other in small chain-link pens. Activist Nina Zyryanova says, “Now it’s getting colder every day. Although these animals are native to the Arctic, they must move, hundred kilometers a day, to stay warm.” The animals were captured by four Russian companies who obtained a (most likely illegal) permit from the Federal Fishery Agency.

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Source: Free Russian Whales

Animal activists believe the animals are being kept in these conditions to be sold to foreign amusement parks. Whales are worth a lot of money on the black market and would make these companies a fortune. Thankfully, the local court agreed to hear the activists’ lawsuit not only demanding the release of these animals, but to penalize the officials who allowed the capture.

For more information on how damaging marine parks and captivity are to orcas and whales, check out Here’s Why We Should Never Forget What ‘Blackfish’ Was Really AboutThis Image Will Make You Never Want to Visit a Zoo or Marine Park Again, and Skip the Circus, Marine Park, and Zoo: Here are 10 Humane Ways to Interact With Wildlife. To support organizations fighting against the captivity of marine animals, see 10 Amazing Organizations Bravely Fighting for Marine Conservation.

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