Seoul City Avoiding Duty of Care for Taeji
Taeji, the last performing dolphin at Seoul Grand Park, who was captured in the cove of Taiji in 2008, was transferred to Pacific Land on Jeju Island on June 20th 2017 to be fostered. Seoul City and Seoul Grand Park rushed Taeji into foster care for two reasons; extreme abnormal behavior from Taeji, and necessary maintenance work on the aquarium.
When the Ulsan Jangsaengpo Special Whale Culture Zone refused to foster Taeji, the city secretly signed a contract with Pacific Land and sent him away. Pacific Land is a notorious dolphin show company that has been sentenced on charges of using illegally captured Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) for 20 years.
Seoul City has not disclosed the details of the contract with Pacific Land for the foster care despite constant requests from us and many other animal rights organizations. It only announced that the contract for foster care would be valid until the end of November, and after then, the ownership of Taeji would be transferred to Pacific Land.
Although more and more dolphin entertainment shows are being replaced by ecological information and education exhibits, Pacific Land is still threatening the health of dolphins by having them perform tricks for the mere enjoyment of the public.
In a developed country like Korea in the 21st Century, this has to stop. Not only it is an international disgrace for the city of Seoul, but also a reversal of efforts to protect dolphins in Korea.
Seoul City must extend the period of foster care indefinitely so that Taeji does not become the property of Pacific Land, ensuring he lives the rest of his life in quiet safety.