S. Korea to release dolphin back into wild

May 11, 2013
An Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin called "Jedol" at Seoul Grand Park Zoo in Gwacheon, south of Seoul, May 11, 2013. The 13-year-old dolphin is being being transported to an ocean pen off a South Korean island for training to prepare it for release back into the wild after four years in a Seoul zoo, officials said.

A 13-year-old dolphin was Saturday being transported to an ocean pen off a South Korean island for training to prepare it for release back into the wild after four years in a Seoul zoo, officials said.

The female Indo-Pacific , which had been at Seoul Grand Park Zoo since 2009, was flown by a special charter jet to the southern island of Jeju accompanied by an 11-member team of veterinarians and zoo keepers.

"It is not only a matter of one dolphin going home but a matter of the relationship between animals and humans, between and humans," Seoul mayor Park Won-Woon said.

Television pictures showed the famous dolphin called "Jedol" being transferred by stretcher to a vehicle for its journey to the airport and its flight to Jeju.

The costs for releasing the dolphin were raised through donations led by animal right activists.

Veterinarians and zoo keepers prepare the dolphin called "Jedol" (C) for transport at Seoul Grand Park Zoo in Gwacheon, south of Seoul , May 11, 2013. In March last year, Seoul Grand Park Zoo suspended a popular dolphin show starring Jedol and two other dolphins over claims by activists that they were captured illegally.

Jedol will join two other in an cage in Jeju for adjustment training before being set free as early as next month.

In March last year, Seoul Grand Park Zoo suspended a popular dolphin show starring Jedol and two other dolphins over claims by activists that they were captured illegally.

The zoo decided to return Jedol to the wild but keep the two others because they were too old and weak to be released.

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