November 22, 2001:
A necropsy report issued by SeaWorld in San Diego confirms that Bjossa, the former Vancouver Aquarium orca moved to San Diego toward the end of her life, died of broncopneumonia, an inflammation of the lungs. David Huff, consulting veterinarian for the aquarium, said the necropsy, done by a SeaWorld veterinarian reported that “exactly what we thought was happening [to Bjossa] was happening.” He said when cetaceans (whales and dolphins) develop respiratory infections, as Bjossa had done, their bodies often respond by building walls of scar tissue around the infected area. Unfortunately, said Huff, this makes it difficult to treat the infected area with antibiotics. That’s why, he said, the course of antibiotics Bjossa received both in Vancouver and San Diego didn’t save her. “She’d get better, but then she’d get worse, and in the end, we couldn’t help her.”
Source: Vancouver Sun
October 9, 2001:
Bjossa, the longtime star of the Vancouver Aquarium, has died at the age of 25. The killer whale died today at SeaWorld in San Diego after battling a chronic respiratory illness for two years before moving to the California tourist park in April 2001. Angela Nielsen of the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre says a necropsy will be performed to determine the cause of death. Bob Tucker, a spokesman for SeaWorld, said the 2,500-kilogram killer whale passed away in an intensive-care pool she had been moved to in August when her lung infection worsened.
“Over the weekend she became lethargic and her diet decreased and (Monday), despite our best efforts to try and turn her around she took a turn for the worst and passed away.” Tucker said SeaWorld trainers had hoped to save Bjossa because she had already endured a “near-death experience” on August 20. “She just went real quick and we don’t think there was a whole lot of pain or anything,” he said. “We’re obviously very saddened and our hearts go out to the folks in Vancouver who had a longtime relationship with her.”
Bjossa was captured off Iceland in November 1980 together with Finna (died in 1997), Vigga (died in 2000) and Ulises (still alive at SeaWorld San Diego). She lived at the Vancouver Aquarium until she was transferred to Seaworld California last spring. The Vancouver Aquarium said in April that the whale was moved to SeaWorld because she needed to socialize with other whales. Bjossa had been alone at the aquarium since 1997 when her partner Finna died. Bjossa initially seemed to thrive in the SeaWorld pools she shared with eight other whales. Bjossa mothered 3 calves in captivity, none of which survived longer than 96 days.
Source: Vancouver Sun
September 22, 2001:
Port of Nagoya Aquarium in Japan has admitted to failing to capture of four orcas at the sea of Kamchatka, Russia. The aquarium replied to an interview with the Japanese Mainichi newspaper. Apparently the aquarium has no idea how to bring orcas to the facility, but is trying to find a way. The Russian capture permits issued this year (2001) were to Michael Reshetnikov of the Moscow based animal traders “Zoolex”. Allegedly Port of Nagoya Aquarium offers 1,000,000 US$ for each orca.
Please ask the Russian government not to give another orca capture permit to Zoolex or other organisations and to withdraw this year’s permit.
Please ask the Japanese government and Port of Nagoya Aquarium to stop any plans for orca captures.
September 1, 2001:
Kasatka at SeaWorld San Diego gave birth to a 350-pound male calf at about 9 p.m. Saturday. The birth is the result of the first successful artificial insemination of any marine mammal, according to SeaWorld. Tilikum of SeaWorld Orlando provided the semen. This is Kasatka’s second calf.
August 8, 2001 (backdated):
Young male Nova, born to Kiska in November 1996, has died at Marineland Canada. Following their long tradition of misinforming the public, Marineland Canada refused to reveal the date or the cause of Nova’s death. Only in April 2002 were Zoocheck Canada able to confirm the fact of his fate. Nova died of pneumonia. He aslo had lived with a hole in his oesophagus, which was a birth defect.
August 1, 2001:
Haida 2 died at SeaWorld San Antonio after almost 19 years in captivity. Necropsy results linked 5,700-pound Haida’s death to a brain abscess that originated with a common fungus. Staff members had noticed changes in her behaviour two days prior to her death. Haida 2 was captured off Iceland in October 1982, together with the late Nootka 4 who died in 1994 at SeaWorld Orlando, and an unnamed male orca who died at former Sealand of the Pacific, Victoria, Canada, a few months after the capture. Haida 2 left behind her young son Kyuquot, born in December 1991. She had another calf in November 1994 that lived for just 38 days. Haida 2 was kept at Sealand of the Pacific, together with Kyuquot, Nootka 4 and Tilikum, until SeaWorld acquired her in August 1993. SeaWorld San Antonio spokesman Bob McCullough abused the press conference to continue the misinformation given by SeaWorld since the start of the business. He declared “the normal lifespan for a killer whale is 25 to 35 years” when it is common scientific ground that female orcas live an average of over 50 years. The most ridiculous comment was probably that orcas were kept captive to protect them from predators! Orcas have no natural predator besides one: man. And during the last 35 years SeaWorld officials have proven to be among the most dangerous of that species.
June 1, 2001:
Sharkane at Marineland Antibes, France, gave birth to a little female. The calf is Sharkane’s third.
Earlier this year, Antibes’ other adult female Freya had a stillbirth, her third after 1991 and 1993. Freya’s only surviving calf is Valentin, born in 1996.
April 21, 2001:
Bjossa, the lone surviving orca whale at the Vancouver Aquarium, was transferred to SeaWorld San Diego. Bjossa’s move started at about 9:00 pm that night, but she wasn’t lifted out of the pool until 10:44 pm. The next morning she arrived in California and was in the medical pool at 8:04 am that morning. The import permit had been issued by NMFS on March 8. This ended the history of captive orcas in Vancouver.
February 8, 2001:
Stella at Kamogawa Sea World, Japan, gave birth. The female calf, estimated to measure 6 feet long and weigh 170 kg, is Stella’s second after Lovey, born in 1998.
January 11, 2001:
Six Flags Inc. announced it has reached an agreement with Busch Entertainment Corp. to purchase the SeaWorld Aurora amusement park in northeast Ohio for $110 million. Although Six Flags intends to have killer whales on public display in the future, the three young male orcas of SeaWorld Aurora, Keet, Keto and Sumar, have been sent to other SeaWorld parks. Keet has been moved to SeaWorld San Diego on February 15, Sumar followed him on February 18. Keto went to SeaWorld San Antonio, also on February 18. The three whales had been moved to Ohio from SeaWorld San Diego on April 15, 2000.