Vegan actor Kate Mara is one of a slew of celebrities who have signed a letter urging Russian President Vladimir Putin to ensure that more than 80 whales currently held captive in Srednyaya Bay are released back into their natural habitats.
The star joined a host of other celebrity supporters of animal rights charity PETA, including Mark Ruffalo, Maisie Williams, Hayden Panettiere, Edward Norton, and Adrian Grenier to sign a letter sent by advocacy support organization the Earth Island Institute.
According to reports, more than 100 whales are being held in pens in Srednyaya Bay, near the Russian far eastern city of Nakhodka. The standards endured by the animals are so low, the facility has been dubbed a ‘whale jail’.
Putin’s government has already taken action to block the export of the animals to dolphinariums in other countries, which PETA commended, saying ‘whales and dolphins do not cope well with captivity’.
PETA also praised steps the Russian government has taken in blocking new capture permits for 2019. It says it ‘supports the Russian initiative to implement a permanent ban on capture of Russian orcas and beluga whales’.
“We would like to ask you to take several important steps for the welfare of the remaining whales in the sea pens … [and] return the orcas and beluga whales to the Sea of Okhotsk and their birth populations when feasible,” says the letter signed by the celebrities. “The world is waiting for a happy ending.”