If the anti-gay policy, the displacement of ethnic minorities, the suspected Russian corruption or the sheer commercialism of the $51 billion spent on Sochi so far aren’t enough reasons to hate the upcoming Winter Olympics here’s another one to add to the list.
In another Sochi Olympics fail a Russian aquarium hoping to cash in on the millions of visitors during the Games are planning to display two young wild Orcas caught by Japanese whalers.
Whale protection groups and environmentalists throughout the world have expressed their horror at the capture of a pair of wild orcas sought by the Aquatoria aquarium.
Officials at the Aquatoria have now officially confirmed that at least one orca is on its way to Sochi in time for the Olympics, from waters north of Japan.
The news was posted by award winning conservationist Erich Hoyt on his blog.
According to a written statement made by the Aquatoria officials, a single orca was legally captured and taken to an area that is specially equipped to adapt the orca to captivity.
The Orca will be brought to Sochi in time for the Winter Games.
Orcas– also known as a killer whale – can grow up to 8.5 meters with a 1.3 mete dorsal fin – they swim 100 miles a day.
What is distressing protestors the most is the fact that the whales will be kept in a “small concrete tank” after a 4,614-mile flight from the far east of Russia.
An online petition calls the area they will be housed in nothing more than a “bathtub”.
The UK Mirror has reported that animal protection advisers said the move to exhibit the orcas cruel and a “callous attempt to cash in on the Olympics”.
Campaigners dispute the official statement from the aquarium actually claiming there are with six whales are being held “in small pools” near Vladivostok.
Paul Spong, a Canadian whale researcher told the Vancouver Sun that aside from unusual exceptions, the lives of captive orcas are much shorter than those of their ocean-dwelling relatives.
He said that the Olympics would be violated by such a display.
“The Olympics are supposed to be about the best humans can offer.”
He adds that the capture and exhibition of wild orcas is not showing humanity at its finest.
Campaigners say transporting orcas causes them stress; also that keeping them in captivity shortens their life and can make them aggressive.
A spokesman for Whale and Dolphin Conservation said: “It’s a sad day for Russia, a sad thing for the Olympics and a very sad situation for two orcas who now will be flying across seven time zones to spend the rest of their lives in captivity.
An online petition has already garnered over 100,000 signatures. A ‘tweetstorm’ is planned for Saturday to urge Olympic organisers to condemn the display of the wild orcas.
You can access the online petition here.