Russian Dolphinariums 101: Primorsky Aquarium

General info on facility: Primorsky Oceanarium (Приморский океанариум) was opened on September 6, 2016 in the city of Vladivostock.

News and Mentionable Incidents:

  • Despite the facility’s short history, multiple animal deaths have already occurred, some reporting the number at 15 before the facility even officially opened and 4 more since then. Among these are beluga whales, a bottlenose dolphin, sea otters, walruses, and Baikal seals. The causes of death have varied from infectious diseases to accidents and even intentional killing.

  • The former head of construction used to drive guests to the oceanarium and allow them to jump in with the dolphins.

  • Dmitry Mingalev, deputy director of the repair and construction department, was found guilty of bribery during the construction of the Primorsky Oceanarium and was sentenced to 2 years of imprisonment in a penal colony with a fine of 10 million rubles, the Primorsky district prosecutor's office reported.

  • The court then also sentenced the head of research and production “Mostovik,” Oleg Shishov, to 3 years in prison after finding him guilty of aiding an embezzlement of “not less” than 1,021,842,786 rubles.

  • A journalist was given a tour behind the scenes prior to the aquarium's official opening where he found that the electricity was cut off due to debts. This was while their animals were already living there. On the same day a dolphin died.

  • While working on one of the tanks holding "dolphins from Japan" an employee mixed up the hoses and almost filled it with hydrochloric acid.

  • In April 2016 a beluga suffocated, reportedly from opening the grate covering the drain hole and become stuck in there.

  • In July 2016 two baby walruses never woke up from anesthesia while having their tusks removed.

  • In July 2016 six more dolphins came from Japan.

  • November 1-December 20, 2016: It was temporarily closed in connection with the death of two dolphins (reportedly frothing at the mouth) and a 5-month-old sea lion.

  • After a series of high-profile scandals, local ecologists began collecting signatures and petitioned to protect animals at the aquarium.

  • Former aquarium technician Roman Fadeev issued a statement over social media about the inhumane conditions. According to him, animals in the aquarium are kept in very poor conditions: they are fed with spoiled fish, and their filtration system in the basin of the main building was inadequate to the animals’ exhibits, killing tropical fish and dolphins that developed lung problems. He was then sued by Primorsky Aquarium and on June 15, 2017 had to withdraw his statements.

  • Someone left a two and a half foot (30cm) long piece of rope in the walrus tank. One consumed it and died shortly thereafter.

  • After four escape attempts a sea otter died.

  • July 2017, a Pacific white sided dolphin purchased from Taiji died.

  • In October 2017, another bottlenose dolphin died. The official statement said it was from pneumonia. The director of the aquarium resigned. Source.

  • The same week in October, another of their Taiji acquired dolphins died and a sea lion pup was reportedly beaten to death with a HAMMER. Two trainers then came forward with details of the ongoing corruption behind the scenes.

Any Taiji Affiliation? Yes, they have purchased dolphins from Taiji. 4 dolphins came from Taiji in 2012, one named Leo died shorly after due to what the aquarium said was a "weakened immune system." They went as far as pointing out what a good deed it was for them to take him in anyways. This was in exchange for two belugas whales who, at just 4 years old, didn't survive very long after being shipped to Taiji. One quickly began to show signs of illness, the tank was tarped off from the public, and they were never seen again. Source

What can you do? Knowledge is power and a lot of people would not be attending and purchasing tickets to these places if they knew what was going behind closed doors. It's our job to reach them. You can help by sharing the video or you own post about Primorsky Aquarium via social media and tagging #приморскийокеанариум (you can copy and paste if you don't have a Russian keyboard).

Other tags you can copy/paste for Primorsky so their guests see it are: #primocean #зарядись_морем #командаprimocean #морскиекотики #primorskiykray #vladivostok #vdk #go_vl #install_vvo #vdk_news #like_vl #tvoyvladivostok #russiadv #ig_vladivostok #primorsky_ray #prim_places #ig_primorsky #русскийостров #dv_place #khv #khv27 #сахалин #хабаровск #уссурийск #находка #благовещенск

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