“Wow~ It’s really cute”, “It’s coming out! It looks like it’s smiling” Beluga
(white whale) pavilion at Lotte World Aquarium in Jamsil, Seoul on the afternoon of the 20th. When the 11-year-old female beluga ‘Bella’ swam leisurely, wagging her tail, from the back rest area, exclamations came from all around.
Visitors repeatedly pressed the camera button, watching in amazement as the white and smooth Bella, about 4 meters long, came in front of the tank’s glass window, emitting air bubbles.
This space, full of admiration and cheers from visitors, is also the scene of conflict between Lotte World and civic groups. Activists from the marine environment group Hot Pink Dolphins were sued by Lotte World, claiming that they suffered 700
million won in damages after holding a protest demanding the release of belugas in a beluga exhibition tank late last year by putting up a large banner with the phrase “Stop the exhibition immediately.” Why are activists appealing for the release of Bella, who is monopolizing the love of visitors thanks to her cute appearance?
“Inhumane capture, cramped aquarium… We can no longer let belugas die.”Bella was born in the Arctic Ocean in Russia in 2012 and brought to Korea through Russia’s메이저사이트 TINRO research institute.
It is not known exactly when and in what sea area she was caught and how she went through the research laboratory.
However, domestic and foreign civic groups have repeatedly pointed out the problem of inhumane capture and export, saying that baby beluga babies, which are only a few years old, are being forcefully captured and sold around the world for exhibition purposes.
A report written by Russian researchers in 2014 also records that 34 of the 81 belugas captured during the one-year investigation period died during capture. Seven died during transport after capture.
Four years ago, a so-called ‘whale prison’ was discovered near the city of Nakhodka in the Russian Maritime Province, where about 100 young whales, including 87 belugas, were imprisoned, drawing public outrage from the international community.