Walrus jail: about the walruses in the Srednyaya Bay

The position of Coalition on the release of belugas in the Uspeniya bay
“Free Russian whales ” coalition was put nominated for the Russian Headliner of the Year 2019 award

Walrus jail: about the walruses in the Srednyaya Bay

November 14, 2019

The whales were set free, now it’s time for baby walruses!

Friends, a lot of questions come from you about walruses in the former “whale jail”, and now by right “walrus jail”.

In 2018, in the village of Enurmino on Chukotka, Sochi Dolphinarium LLC and Oceanarium DV LLC caught 6 walrus cubs aged 7-9 months. They were transported to Srednaya Bay, where they are now in a rusty hangar, without access to sunlight. Their crying is heard from rusty hangar, but we do not know whether there are all 6 babies there today.

Free Russian Whales coalition analyzes the legality of capture and keeping walruses, as well as the legal means of confiscating them from the captors and releasing them into their habitats. A lot of work has already been done in this direction by a member of the Coalition Sofia Belyaeva @center_orcinus, so we have a number of documents from government agencies.

We consulted walrus specialists and received positive prognosis – unlike orcas and belugas, walruses have instinctive skills rather than acquired food behavior. Even in captivity, they demonstrate these skills.

Releasing walruses under 2 years of age into their habitats is dangerous – they cannot survive because they eat milk and cannot get their own food. But after 2 years, when they switch to “adult” food, they will be able to survive if we try to release them directly at the rookery. They may be able to join a group of walruses.

To help them return to their habitat and increase their chances of survival, they need to be rehabilitated – and to do so, the walruses needs to be confiscated from the “walrus jail”. The Seal Centre in Primorye is ready to accept cubs for rehabilitation.

We have studied a lot of information and are preparing appeals to law enforcement agencies to resolve the issue of walruses seizure, and we will also plan contact the Marine Mammal Council to develop recommendations for the release of walruses into the wild.

Friends, we will need your help to save the walruses! We will need you to send letters once we prepare them. Stay tuned!