Over the weekend, a coalition of celebrities and PETA supporters — including actors Kate Mara, Mark Ruffalo, Maisie Williams, Hayden Panettiere, Edward Norton, and Adrian Grenier — signed onto a letter sent by the Earth Island Institute urging Russian President Vladimir Putin to ensure that the more than 80 whales currently held captive in Srednyaya Bay are released back into their ocean homes.
The letter thanks Putin for his previous efforts to help the whales — including blocking their export to marine mammal parks in other countries and prohibiting new capture permits for 2019 — and stresses the importance of providing the animals with larger, insulated enclosures until they can be rehabilitated and released back into their natural habitat.
“We commend the action you have taken so far to block the export of these amazing beings …. and fully support the Russian initiative to implement a permanent ban on capture of Russian orcas and beluga whales,” the letter states. “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.” It continues, “The world is waiting for a happy ending.”