Five dolphins that were being used at an entertainment show for tourists were ordered by a South Korean court to be released back into the ocean. Five tursiops aduncus, an endangered species also named Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, had been purchased from fishermen between 2009 and 2010. At an entertainment facility called Pacificland they were trained to do tricks in shows to make money for the park. In the last two years five dolphins have died there.
“After illegally possessing the five dolphins, Heo trained and used them for a show, obtaining considerable gains. If the state doesn’t confiscate them, Heo is likely to continue to use them for the show and earn more profit. The operator said the trained animals may not be able to survive in the wild. But their adaptation to the ocean doesn’t affect the need for confiscation,” stated the court’s ruling. (Source: Korea Times) The court’s ruling was reported to be the first of its kind in South Korea.
Several weeks ago, a captive dolphin kept at a similar kind of entertainment facility and made to perform was confiscated in South Korea and moved to a better environment in order to prepare it for release back into the ocean.
The importing of dolphins was recently banned in Switzerland, so the practice of using captive dolphins in parks for entertainment will fade away there,when the last captive dolphin dies.
One can only hope eventually all captive dolphins and whales will be released, or bans implemented on capturing new ones.
Image Credit: Laaude