MOSCOW (AP) - Activists are expressing alarm about more than 100 whales that are being kept in small, crowded pools in what environmentalists are calling a "whale prison," off the coast of the Russian Far East.
The local court last week agreed to hear the activists' lawsuit seeking to penalize officials who allowed the capture and demanding the animals' release.
Activists first raised the alarm late last year when 90 belugas and 12 orcas were captured and placed in a marine containment facility near Vladivostok. Russian law only allows for the capture of whales for "scientific" purposes. But activists believe the whales have been captured for sale to foreign circuses. The animals are worth a fortune on the black market.
The court has yet to schedule hearings in the case.