Sampal the dolphin broke free and escaped her sea pen to rejoin her pod according to MSN Now.
Instead of being released to back into the water, she was illegally sold to the Pacific Land Aquarium.
It was there that the Sampal was “kept hungry,” and was “forced to perform daily by doing tricks that would be rewarded with food, as is routine practice at captive dolphin facilities.”
“About a year ago, thanks to the efforts of individuals such as Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, Sampal and her two companions at Pacific Land were ordered by the Korean High Court to be returned to their home waters.
“The dolphins were transferred to a temporary sea pen this May for rehabilitation and an eventual release, which was officially scheduled for sometime later this summer.”
Take Part reported that dolphins don’t normally get the opportunity to be released back into the wild because they bring in millions of dollars to these animal facilities.
Reports stated that Sampal was doing well in her rehabilitation process, but according to Tree Hugger, “Sampal apparently decided she’d waited long enough.”
Months ahead of schedule, Sampal decided to escape from her pen and actually rejoined her family.
The dolphin swam through a narrow tear in the pen’s netting to freedom.
According to Korean media, researchers from Cetacean Research Center were able to track Sampal 60 miles from where she had been held, swimming free among 50 other dolphins believed to be members of her original pod.
This suggests that the Sampal was actually able to remember her way back to the ocean and remembered her pod. It also suggests that her pod remembered her.
This is a pretty amazing accomplishment for Sample the dolphin to pull off this sort of escape.