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Aquarium Has Been Hiding Two Captured Orcas in Temporary Tanks For Ten Months

October 27, 2014 by Leave a Comment

The News

In December 2013, the Russian company VDNKh Park packed two killer whales into crates at the East end of the country and flew them 10 hours to Moscow to be displayed in an aquarium being built in the city.

In 2012, Namia is transported after being captured(photo:

In 2012, Namia is transported after being captured (photo:

More than 10 months later, the five and seven year old orcas are languishing in a temporary holding tank that are only 82 feet in diameter because the aquarium’s orca enclosure is still under construction and isn’t expected to be completed until early 2015. According to the Moscow Times, Russian police have refused to open a case on behalf of the orcas because the tank doesn’t meet the country’s definition of cruelty to animals.

Rusty temporary holding tank

Rusty temporary holding tank

Inflatable bubble covers tanks

Inflatable bubble covers tanks

The Russian animal rights group VITA says that guards and customers of a nearby exhibition center have, for months, reported “horrible sounds” and “cries” of killer whales. In spite of substantive evidence and a police report stating that the orcas are being held at this location, the aquarium has denied their presence — until yesterday, when video was released. Now, they are stating that the orcas were held secretly to that Muscovites would be surprised when they arrived at the aquarium.

The Director of the Far East Orca Russia Project (FEROP) says that holding killer whales in these circumstances is “completely abnormal” and that “we have no setting in Russia for keeping killer whales in captivity.” Other experts say that holding orcas captive can shorten their life and make them dangerous, as demonstrated in the documentary film Blackfish.

Your Turn

In light of the fact that an orca enclosure is being built at the new Moscow aquarium, Russia isn’t going to return these animals to their pod in the wild unless the world unites behind these orcas. Please sign the Take Part petition and PETA’s form letter to the Russian Ambassador to the UK asking for the orcas to be released back into the wild.

For the past 44 years, an orca named Lolita has been held captive at the Miami Seaquarium in a 60′ by 80′ pool, the smallest orca enclosure in the United States. For the first ten years of her captivity, Lolita had an orca companion named Hugo. In 1980, Hugo repeatedly smashed his head against the wall until he died. Lolita has been alone for 34 years.


Lolita has lived in a small, barren tank for 44 years

A massive march to free Lolita and return her to her to the wild will take place next to the Seaquarium on January 17th. Please share this information with your friends in Florida.

Comments via Facebook Comments

  1. Vitina Muirhead says:

    They should be free. Free them.

  2. Ginette puidokas says:

    The greatness of a nation is judged by how it treats its animals!!! Set them free!

  3. Emma Bessant says:

    These are wild animals and they should be exactly that. FREE.!!!!!!!

  4. Christina says:


  5. Charles says:

    This is so cruel. I wish someone would kidnap the Russian police who made this decision, put them in a small enclosure and tell them they will get a much bigger one in 2015.

  6. Joanna Barton says:

    This is so cruel to see the whales kept in such a confined space. It amazes me how humans can do this just for money, showing no compassion for the whales welfare! Please free them and give them a better life!

  7. Barbara Fassler says:

    Free the whales from this misery. They deserve to be in their natural environment and not kept in tanks no matter if there or at aquarium. What kind of a sick person does this to our wonders of nature.

  8. Robin Santasania says:

    free the whales! What kind of a person does that. This is comparable to a human being kept in a cage. Let them go!

  9. lesley says:

    Free the whales its cruel to keep them like this.they should be free to swim in the oceans with their own kinf

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