Seoul Zoo in South Korea is to suspend its dolphin shows and return one of its captive animals to the wild after a successful campaign by activists.
Jedol, a 13 year old male dolphin, has been held at the zoo since 2009 after being captured from the wild in the waters off Jeju Island. He will be habituated over the next two years for a planned return to the waters from which he was taken in 2014.
However, four other dolphins will remain at the zoo as they are considered unsuitable for release due to old age and having been sourced from different wild populations.
South Korean law prohibits the capturing of whales and dolphins without the necessary permits and so considers the zoo’s captive exhibits to be illegally obtained.
Rob Lott – WDCS’ captivity programme lead says: “WDCS applauds the actions of Seoul Zoo in allowing Jedol the opportunity to return to his home waters. We wish this important project every success and hope Jedol’s release will pave the way for all the other wild-caught dolphins currently held in tanks around the world.”