We have some very exciting news to share! After a staggering 20 years living at the Seoul Grand Park aquarium, Geumdeung, and Daepo, two bottlenose dolphins will be sent back to the oceans in July. The two dolphins were captured by a fishery net near Jeju Island in 1997 and 1998, respectively, with their names coming from the villages where they were first found. Geumdeung and Daepo were bounced between various dolphin performance theaters around Jeju Island until they were transported to Seoul Grand Park in 1999 and 2002. The pair have been there ever since.
According to the Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending marine animal captivity, the decision to move Geumdeung and Daepo came from Mayor Park Won-soon. The ground-breaking movie “The Cove” greatly influenced the mayor’s decision to rehabilitate and release the two dolphins, even going as far as to pay for the entire project.
After being taken from the wild and then forced to perform meaningless tricks for people, Geumdeung and Daepo are now finally going back home. Wonderful news!
The decision to move the dolphins back into their home is a solution to increase the wild dolphin population near the Jeju shores. Geumdeung and Daepo are around 23 to 26 years old and are still diagnosed as healthy enough to procreate, the average Indo-Pacific Bottlenose dolphin living up to 30-25 years old.
The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries plans to carry out training sessions for Geumdeung and Daepo so they will adapt back into the wild. Once they become used to their local surroundings and are able to catch prey, the two dolphins will be transported back to the Jeju island in May and then will return to the ocean around July. With dolphins having complex communication skills, advanced mental capacity, and genuine self-awareness, we are thrilled to learn that Geumdeung and Daepo will soon return to where they belong: the wild.
No animal should have to suffer for the sake of our entertainment. Please never visit or otherwise support a marine park like SeaWorld or Marineland. Instead, support organizations like Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project and Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians both of which are dedicated to stopping marine animal captivity. Be sure to share this post so more people can learn about this important issue!
Image source: Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project/Facebook