Environmental Activists Have Launched A Petition Demanding The Release Of Bella, A Lonely Beluga Whale That’s Been Held In A Mega Mall For Over A Decade

Luna Vandoorne - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual whale

At an aquarium in a mega mall in Seoul, South Korea, a lonely beluga whale has been trapped in her tank for over a decade. Protesters are campaigning for her release before it’s too late.

In 2013, Bella the beluga was captured in the Arctic Ocean off the coast of Russia. She was just two years old.

She was sold to Lotte World Aquarium, which is located at the base of a towering shopping complex in Seoul. The skyscraper is filled with luxury shops and is owned by Lotte Corporation, one of South Korea’s largest conglomerates.

Bella shared a tank with two male belugas, Bello and Belli. But in 2016, Bello passed away at the age of five, followed by Belli in 2019 at the age of 12. Their deaths were premature, as belugas are known to live up to 50 years.

After Belli died, Lotte pledged to release Bella in 2019. However, it has been five years since the promise was made, and Bella is still swimming around in her tank at the mall.

A marine environmentalist group called Hot Pink Dolphins has been leading the efforts to free Bella. The activists have staged protests outside the mall and have now launched a petition demanding Bella’s release.

The petition noted that Bella “exhibits behavior of stress and boredom due to her solitary confinement. She is often seen spinning in small circles in her tank or floating listlessly on the surface of the water.”

Belugas are white whales native to Arctic and sub-Arctic waters. They have squishy heads shaped like melons and lack dorsal fins, which allows them to swim under ice better.

Belugas are highly intelligent and social creatures. They have complex communication systems that make them incompatible with living in captivity.

Luna Vandoorne – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual whale

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