Posts tagged ‘Captive’

South Korean Captive Dolphins have a Shot at Freedom

In First-of-its-Kind Ruling, Judge Orders Release of Five Captive Dolphins

South Korea could be well on it’s way to becoming a dolphin-friendly nation. Like many other countries, it has captive facilities where dolphins are made to perform degrading tricks and live in unbearably small tanks. But a recent ruling on the case of five illegally captured bottlenose dolphins is making waves in the country’s animal rights, as well as animal industry, circles.Captive

Pacific Land, a theme park on the south coast of Jeju Island, is an abysmal prison for it’s captive dolphins — 11 of which were illegally purchased from local fishermen between 2009 and 2010, according to local activists. Of these, five remain alive and on perpetual display in a tank that is smaller than an Olympic-sized swimming pool. When they are not performing, they are forced to live in an underground holding pool, meaning that these dolphins have been living for years without ever seeing natural daylight.

The good news is that last month the president and a director of the park, known only by their last names Heo and Koh, were found guilty of buying the illegally caught dolphins. The duo have been sentenced to eight months in prison, fined US $8,760 and – most importantly – ordered to release the five surviving dolphins back to their natural habitat.

The ruling is the first of its kind in South Korea, which had no animal welfare laws until 1991. It comes on the heels of Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon’s order for the release and rehabilitation of a male dolphin at Seoul Grand Park, a major theme park in Korea’s capital city. The dolphin, named Jedoli, is one of the 11 Pacific Land had bought from fishermen.

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Confusion Over Swiss Captive Dolphin Deaths

Previous veterinary reports regarding the cause of death of two dolphins at a Swiss dolphinarium last November have been thrown in to doubt following the leak of a new report which suggests the animals died from the effects of a heroin substitue.

The original evaluation by the Institute for Veterinarian Pathology revealed that the use of antibiotics on two dolphins (“Chelmers” and “Shadow”) at the Connyland dolphinarium, Switzerland last November caused brain damage which then led to their deaths.

An investigation into procedures followed by the vets responsible for the two dolphins then began. However, the leaked report now suggests that the dolphins were probably killed by a heroin substitute placed in the water at a zoo after it hosted a weekend rave. If this were the case then the drug may well have interfered with the dolphin’s natural instincts regarding when to surfaces to breathe.

The dolphinarium had previously accused animal activists of poisoning the dolphins.

Written by WDCS.org

Speak Out for Better Protections for Captive Orcas!

Lolita is a solitary orca who has been confined to a tiny concrete tank at the Miami Seaquarium for more than 40 years. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) provides members of the wild Southern Resident orca population and other endangered animals with a host of protections, including protection against being harmed or harassed. Yet, despite being a member of the Southern Residents, Lolita has been denied all of these protections without any explanation by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

The government’s failure to provide Lolita with the protections enjoyed by the wild members of her pod has enabled the Miami Seaquarium to keep her in conditions that violate the Endangered Species Act. Lolita must be granted the protections under federal law which she is rightfully due and which best ensure her survival and well-being, which—depending on her condition—could include transferring her to a sea pen in her home waters and releasing her back to her family pod.

In the wild, orcas live in tight family units with bonds that may last a lifetime. At Seaquarium, Lolita swims endless circles in a small, barren tank that does not comply with USDA regulations. This highly intelligent and social animal has been without an orca companion since 1980.

Sign ALDF’s petition to the National Marine Fisheries Service, urging them to include captive members of Lolita’s Southern Resident pod in ESA protections.

Written by Animal Legal Defense Fund