It is with great sadness that we report that Tongki, the sole remaining captive polar bear in South Korea, died at 6 p.m. on October 17th in Everland theme park in Seoul. He was 24 years old.
Animals in Captivity
After first investigating the site of what is one of South Korea’s worst cases of intentional mass animal abuse on June 25th, 2018, we are now able to offer a fuller explanation of the situation at the Hanam City site.
Our wonderful volunteers have been caring for the ones that were removed earlier, and with a lot of love and some veterinary treatment—and a lot of support from our supporters—a lot of them are doing much better now, and showing signs of recovery.
Dog meat slaughterers ousted from Moran Market are trying a new trick. They have illegally occupied land owned by Korea Land & Housing Corporation, claiming their facilities were on this land prior to being bought and that LHC owes them compensation before they move out to ‘allow’ the construction of a new apartment block.
On May 30th, CARE and local police raided a dog-fighting pit in Ganghwa Island, off the north-west coast of South Korea right on the border with North Korea. We asked the police to take the two blood-covered dogs that were fighting as we arrived, Gumdoongii and Nurungii, but they refused.
Everland has announced that, in collaboration with Polar Bears International, it will be sending Korea’s sole captive polar bear, Tongki, to Yorkshire Wildlife Park in England by November.
In the heat of early August at the start of summer, we received numerous reports and photos of animals in distress. The place was a museum called Dalasil in Chuncheon, a city about one and a half hours drive north-west of Seoul. We went to investigate.
On September 9th, the cove of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, turned bright red as a pod of 21 young short-finned pilot whales was slaughtered while 3 others were captured to face a life of imprisonment. Despite growing international condemnation, Japan carried out its annual dolphin slaughter.
Since we reported in July that Tongki, the last polar bear held captive in South Korea, was suffering in the scorching summer heat and left alone without even water, we have sent letters and called Everland asking to have a conversation about his situation.
Namgeuk, the polar bear who had resided at O-world in Daejeon for 15 years, passed away last January. O-world had concealed her death from the media and animal rights organizations, only reporting this tragedy to the Ministry of Environment.
A polar bear jumped into the Han River at Yeouinaru, Seoul, on July 28th, 2017. It was a performance to highlight the suffering of Tongki, a polar bear who was born in captivity and has lived in a small enclosure in the zoo at Everland for over 20 years.