Leonardo DiCaprio Raises Awareness About Russia Whale Jail, Now 100 Whales Are Being Released

Pamela Anderson also spoke out about the facility, writing an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin

A facility in Nakhodka, Russia, holding over 100 whales in small enclosures has been ordered to release most of its whales.

According to Newsweek, news of the facility, dubbed the “whale jail” by local media, first started to spread in November 2018. Greenpeace began campaigning for the release of the captive whales, possibly being held so they could be sold to aquariums in China, shortly after reports of the facility appeared online. The environmental organization noted that, along with providing the whales with little space, the facility also kept the animals in water that dropped to dangerously low temperatures.

Three months after the whale jail started making headlines, Russian authorities have ordered that 11 orcas and 87 belugas be released from the facility, reports Reuters. Four companies affiliated with the facility have also been charged for breaking fishing laws.

Yuri SmityukTASS via Getty. Inset: Gabe Ginsberg/Getty

This news comes shortly after Leonardo DiCaprio tweeted out a plea for the whales on Tuesday, asking his more than 18 million followers to sign a petition demanding the release of the whales. The actor’s tweet received over 20,000 likes and the Change.org petition it linked to received over 900,000 signatures.

According to The Mirror, the whales have yet to be released, even though President Vladimir Putin was personally involved in issuing the order. The delay is reportedly due to officials taking time to figure out the best way to safely release the whales.

DiCaprio wasn’t the only celebrity to speak out about the whale jail, Pamela Anderson wrote an open letter to Putin about the facility on her website.

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