Literally thousands of Care2 members signed the petition to tell Sochi, the Russian city that is hosting the Winter Olympics, not to display two wild orcas, a young female named Narina and a young male. Just this week it’s been confirmed that the two orcas will not be delivered to Sochi.
Narina had been captured in August 2012 off Russia’s coast in the Sea of Okhotsk by the White Sphere, a consortium of Russian companies. The young male orca was captured in September of 2013. Afterwards, both young orcas were transported miles inland to Moscow.
Erich Hoyt, the head of Global Marine Protected Areas Program at Whale and Dolphin Conservation, has confirmed that, according to the President of the Sochi Olympic Committee, the orcas will not be on display during the Olympics nor will a dolphin be made to participate in the Olympic torch relay.
While this is very good news, the ultimate fate of the two orcas remains very up in the air as Hoyt details on his Facebook page. Sochi has a dolphinarium, which captured a total of seven orcas in the Okhotsk Sea in 2013; some of these animals have reportedly been sent to China. Narina and at least one other orca are currently being held in “small pens” in Moscow. It’s possible that she and other orcas are being trained for circus shows in Russia or who knows where else.
In other words, there’s still a lot of work to be done to free Narina and the other orcas and see that they are returned to the wild.
Your signatures on the Care2 petition demanding that orcas not be displayed at Sochi were printed and mailed to President Putin and the Russian Government and helped raise awareness about these animals’ plight. Much more remains to be done to return them back to the wild.
Even as we can take heart about a successful campaign that has prevented the display of orcas in Sochi, we need to keep taking action and demand that Narina and the other orcas be returned to their natural habitat. Please start a petition to get the word out for their sake and to raise awareness about other pressing issues — your efforts do make a difference.
Photo via Thinkstock
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