Bella the beluga whale has been locked behind glass walls in a small tank for at least seven years, ever since she was captured along with two other belugas near Iceland and forced to become the aquatic entertainment at Lotte World Aquarium in Seoul, South Korea. Then, several years ago, her two tank mates died. South Korean activists worked hard to convince the Lotte corporation to spare Bella the same tragic fate, and stakeholders seemingly agreed. But two years later, Bella is still in her tiny enclosure, the aquarium attraction remains open, and experts say Bella is showing signs of significant psychological distress.
Belugas, like other whales, evolved to live in the huge expanses of the ocean, swimming hundreds and even thousands of miles, and interacting with all sorts of creatures in the wild. Trapping them in sterile glass prisons the size of a human home with only a couple other belugas for company — if any at all — is cruelty, plain and simple. They do not belong in this conglomerate-owned aquarium! Tell the CEO of Lotte Corporation, Shin Dong-bin, that Bella must be freed immediately! We can’t wait until she becomes the latest dead beluga at the Lotte World Aquarium.