On March 2nd, a Beluga Whale on display at Lotte Aquarium lost its life.
CARE, along with several other environmental and animal rights groups have been fighting the introduction and display of these whales since 2014. The deceased whale was a 5 year old male from Russia and was brought into the aquarium in 2014 Unfortunately, in 2015 when CARE looked into the condition of the Lotte World Aquarium, we were shocked to find that the environment was much too small of a habitat for the 3 whales.
Research shows that whales survive an average of 70 years in nature. However, the average life expectancy of whales in captivity is 10 years. This has been factored into other whale mistreatment cases such as that of Seaworld in America.
Not only this, but a documentary <Blackfish> highlighted the story of an orca who was suffering because of a weakened immunity that could be attributed to its years in captivity. Across the world we see activists and groups that are ensuring a decrease in these tragic occurrences, even at Seaworld, and CARE hopes to do the same in Korea.
However, in recent years, the amount of whale importation in Korea has dramatically increased and the efforts to stop this are few. Of course, some groups were successful in stopping the introduction of these creatures, such as the case at an Ulsan center for Whale Life.
As a result, CARE requests that the Lotte Aquarium properly addresses the death of the Beluga Whale and ensures that the other two remain unharmed and free. CARE also requests that the government take legal action regarding the performance, experimentation, and consumeristic use of whales in Korea.