VLADIVOSTOK, February 25. /TASS/. Hollywood actress, member of the Advisory Board of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Pamela Anderson wrote an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin with a request to release orcas and beluga whales held in captivity near Nakhodka. The letter was published on the official website of the Pamela Anderson Foundation.
According to the letter, "I am writing to you about the 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales currently in captivity near Nakhodka, Russia. I want to thank the Government of the Russian Federation for taking important steps to stop the international sale of these whales."
"According to the letter, I understand that the Russian Government has taken initial steps toward the release of these magnificent creatures back into the wild, in their home waters of the Russian Far East. I am very grateful for this news. I understand that a final decision has not yet been made to release the orcas and belugas back into the wild, and I respectfully ask that you resolve this by ordering their release," the letter said.
She added that she hopes that the Russian government "will work together with Russian ecologists and international specialists to develop a professional plan to return these orca and beluga whales to the wild."
It was reported earlier that 11 orcas illegally caught for sale in China were held in a special retention center near Nakhodka, as well as 90 beluga whales. Later, three beluga whales disappeared, and last week one orca also was also lost. A criminal case on illegal prey was initiated. On February 22, Vladimir Putin instructed the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia, together with scientific organizations, to decide the fate of the marine animals before March 1.