Remarkable footage has emerged today that shows 2 beluga whales being rescued from years of captivity and abuse at an aquarium in China... And they just couldn't contain their joy.
More people than ever before are protesting against the captivity of marine animals.
via: GettySince the 1960s, whales and dolphins have been captured from the wild and forced into small tanks for our own amusement.
They are often forced to perform in front of large audiences...
via: GettyAnd, over the years, their tricks and performances have made millions for the companies keeping them in their confinement.
But, despite their entertainment value...
via: GettyThere's something undeniably quite distressing about seeing such intelligent and majestic creatures forced into chlorine tanks for the sole purpose to entertain and make money for humans.
However, in 2013, people's attitudes on the matter were to change forever.Netflix released the documentary, Blackfish, which analyzed the events leading up to the death of Sea World trainer, Dawn Brancheau, who was killed by their largest orca, Tilikum.
The documentary delved into the process of capturing young whales from the wild...And thus showed the disgraceful treatment of all marine mammals once they are in captivity - This includes brutal training techniques, the forced separation of mothers from their calves, and even showed how staff lock up the animals in tiny, blacked-out boxes every single night.
It was a truly shocking watch.And, shortly after the documentary's release, people instantly turned against Sea World, with even more calling to boycott any company that profits from keeping marine animals in captivity.
Ever since, the protests against the captivity of marine mammals have been growing.
via: GettyMore and more people are turning against these companies who, despite 4 people having died at the hands of the distressed marine mammals, continue to train and perform their whales and dolphins for profit.
Slowly, change is happening.
via: GettyLast year, Canada victoriously imposed a full ban on the captivity of any whales or dolphins in the "Free Willy Bill", which also prevents any captive breeding of the mammals.
But other countries are yet to follow suit.
via: GettyDespite Canada's landslide victory, dolphins and whales are still being bred and held in captivity in several other countries all over the world, the U.S. included.
But, this week, there has been a huge development in this fight.
via: Getty2 beluga whales have been rescued and freed from an aquarium in Shanghai, China, where they had been forced to perform as show animals for the last decade.
Meet Little White and Little Grey.
via: FacebookLike other belugas, these whales are incredibly intelligent, with scientists calling their species the "most intelligent creatures of not only the ocean but the entire animal kingdom."
The duo were originally captured at a Russian research center...
via: GettyBut, ten years ago, they were transported to Shanghai's Ocean World, where they were forced to perform tricks and shows to audiences in exchange for fish.
Obviously, this isn't the life for intelligent belugas like Little White and Little Grey...
via: GettySo the U.K.-based charity, Sea Life Trust, decided to step in.
After over a decade in captivity, the pair are finally set to experience a taste of freedom.
via: GettySea Life Trust has shipped Little White and Little Grey around 6,000 miles away to their new home in Iceland, where they will swim in the open ocean once more.
To get them out of the aquarium and shipped halfway around the world...
via: FacebookLittle Grey and Little White had to be put into specially designed slings that helped protect their bodies in a lorry, then an aircraft, and finally a harbor tugboat.
They are set for a whole new lease of life in their specially designed "open ocean" sanctuary.
via: FacebookSea Life Trust head, Andy Bool said: "We're absolutely delighted to be able to share the news that Little Grey and Little White are safely in their sea sanctuary care pools and are just one step away from being released into their open water home."
They are currently being held at a refuge in Klettsvik Bay off the south coast of Iceland...
via: FacebookBefore they will be released into their huge sanctuary.
Sea Life Trust said in a statement:
via: Facebook"Little Grey and Little White are now in their bayside care pool and will need a short period of time to acclimatize to their new natural environment and all the outdoor elements before their final release into the wider sanctuary in Klettsvik Bay in the Westman Islands off the south coast of Iceland."
But, despite their long journey...
Little Grey and Little White are the first two captive #beluga whales to move to an open water sanctuary 🐳 The whal… https://t.co/1X9juj8bzO— Richard Frediani (@Richard Frediani)1597042696.0