The UK Mirror reports that two orcas have been captured to be put on display at a Sochi aquarium during the Olympics:
Animal protection advisers said the move to exhibit the orcas – not really whales but members of the dolphin family – was cruel and a “callous attempt to cash in on the Olympics”.
Campaigners say the two killer whales, along with six others, are being held “in small pools” near Vladivostok.
The reports appear to be backed up by a late November post on the Facebook group Russian Orcas, which wrote:
We have new information that two of the killer whales being held near Vladivostok are soon to be flown across Russia to the Sochi Dolphinarium. Sochi is a busy place these days preparing for the winter Olympics, 7-23 Feb. 2014. The whale captors are intending to make money during the Olympics by putting the orcas on display. These will be the first orcas ever displayed in public in Russia. A sad day for Russia, a sad thing for the Olympics, a very sad situation for 2 orcas who now will be flying across 7 time zones, some 7,427 kilometres (4,614 miles) to spend the rest of what remains of their lives in captivity.
The news comes as the plight of the animals at venues like Sea World is being highlighted in the documentary Blackfish.