Whale advocates claim two orcas have been captured in the waters north of Japan and are being transported to a Sochi aquarium. The aquarium is to display the animals specifically for the Winter Olympic Games to increase tourism spending.
Locals and activists are petitioning against the capture of the whales and demand that the whales not be put on display. An online Russian petition has over 100,000 signatures already and the games are not for another number of weeks.
The petition aims to reach the Olympic International Committee. It urges the committee to persuade the abductors to release the whales back into the waters where they were captured.
Scientists have proven that orca whales live shorter lives in captivity and experience sensory deprivation. The captured whales do not act as they would in the wild. They are torn away from their families and pods where they are used to interacting daily for their survival.
The documentary “Blackfish” that showcases the ill treatment of orcas in the SeaWorld establishments heightened the awareness of the abuse these animals face in captivity.
Heavy criticism and boycotts of the SeaWorld parks has continued since the documentary aired.
It will be interesting to see if the Olympic International Committee takes a stance or whether it will ignore the matter completely.