Russian experts to check health of orcas and beluga whales in Primorsky Region

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© Yuri Smithyuk / TASS

MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. The expert group of scientists, veterinarians and employees of relevant organizations created at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation will go to Srednyaya Bay in the Primorsky Region to check the health of the orcas and beluga whales that are being held there, the press service of the regional administration told journalists on Saturday.

Eleven orcas that had been illegally caught for sale to China stayed in Srednyaya Bay near the city of Nakhodka along with 90 beluga whales. However, three beluga whales went missing, and later the disappearance of one orca was reported. The police are investigating these facts.

“Blood sampling, examination and surveillance will be carried out. Findings on each orca will be provided in a 10-year-day term. Similar work will be have been carried out with beluga whales by the end of the month. The experts will also determine the future location of the animals, after which the preparations for their transportation will start,” the report says.

The Primorsky Region’s authorities will involve large companies to feed the marine mammals that are being kept in the “whale jail”.

“The governor stressed that the Fund for Animal Feeding Support will be created with involvement of large companies,” the report says.

It was earlier reported that Primorsky Region Governor Oleg Kozhemyako sent an invitation to French scientist and oceanographer Jean-Michel Cousteau to visit the Primorsky Region in order to help in the rehabilitation of the marine mammals. The oceanographer agreed. The sides are negotiating now to determine the exact date for Cousteau and his team of international experts’ arrival to Russia. Cousteau also released a video address on YouTube in which he called the situation critical and noted the necessity to decide the animals’ fate as soon as possible.

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