Posts tagged ‘Korean’

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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