31 December, 2017:
Narnia, one of Moskvarium’s three wild-caught orcas, has stopped performing in shows and been removed from the public eye. It’s believed she ingested a piece of pool cover and is seriously ill.
December 19, 2017:
Loro Parque plans to expand their orca facility in 3 to 4 years.
Source: Loro Parque Orcas
December 6, 2017:
In violation of the holding permit, Loro Parque has allowed for 10-year-old female Morgan to become pregnant. Due date and sire are not known at this time. Morgan was captured in Dutch waters seven years ago, when she was discovered all by herself and in poor condition. Under dubious circumstances she was later transferred to Loro Parque on Tenerife, Spain. Since then animal rights groups and scientists from all across the planet have been fighting to bring Morgan back to her native Norwegian waters. There’ll be another court date in the Netherlands on January 23rd, 2018.
November 8, 2017:
It appears that SeaWorld has transferred ownership of the orcas at Loro Parque to that company. According to its latest financial report, SeaWorld “amended its existing agreement with Loro Parque concerning the orcas at that park. The agreement was amended in order to end its business relationship due to a contractual dispute. As a result, the company recognised an impairment loss of approximately $7.8 million during the third quarter of 2017.”
That statement can be interpreted as transfer of ownership. We’ll see…
Update November 22: SeaWorld has confirmed the transfer of ownership on its Facebook page.
August 15, 2017:
After a long battle with bacterial infection, 40-year-old female Kasatka was euthanized yesterday evening.
Kasatka had been captured off Iceland in October 1978, together with Katina and long gone orcas Kotar, Kahana, Betty, a female probably named Shawn and an unnamed male calf that passed away after only four months in captivity. Kasatka lives on through her offspring Takara, Nakai, Kalia and Makani. Takara had been separated from Kasatka at age 12 and lives at SeaWorld San Antonio.
Source: Times of San Diego
July 25, 2017:
After a brief battle with pneumonia, Takara’s 3-month-old daughter Kyara has passed away yesterday.
A couple days ago SeaWorld had separated the calf from her mother for increased treatment, but the little girl didn’t make it. Her name had only now been announced.
July 19, 2017:
Yet another huge marine park is under way in China. This time it is located in the city of Wuxi, in the southeastern Jiangsu province of China. Construction work has started this spring and apparently they have several orcas from Russia coming in this November. Very sad that China and Russia keep this lethal business of captive orcas alive.
July 19, 2017:
It looks like Kasatka is seriously ill and might be on her final days.
Source: Dolphin Project
July 19, 2017:
There’s a new film out on Lolita. “The Whale Bowl” is a short documentary made by film students from Greenwich University in London, UK, to help raise awareness about the plight of Lolita. Nice work, kids!
Source: Marine Connection
May 26, 2017:
France has introduced legislation that bans the breeding in captivity of dolphins and killer whales under tighter rules. It has to be seen what effect this will have on Marineland Antibes in France.
April 21, 2017:
Two days ago Takara gave birth to her fifth calf, after Kohana, Trua, Sakari and Kamea. She also had a miscarriage in 2012. Most probably this will be the last calf ever born at SeaWorld, since the company has promised to phase out keeping orcas in captivity. The father of the new calf is Kyuquot.
Source: Wood TV
April 5, 2017:
There is information stemming from Russia that Malvina, the 2015 captured female at Seaside Dolphinarium, Nakhodka, has either escaped or died in late 2016. Allegedly she’s no longer there, only the two orcas destined for China’s Linyi Polar Ocean remain at Seaside ahead of their transport to China. For now I’m treating this as a rumor, until I receive additional confirmation.
April 5, 2017:
Some more information about the orcas at Chimelong Ocean Kingdom at Guangzhou, China, has come to light:
On February 24th, nine killer whales made their debut public appearance at Zhuhai’s Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in China. The whales consist of five males and four females, aged between 5 and 13 years old. The smallest whale weighs 1,2 tons and has a body length of 4 meters, the largest whale weighs 4 tons (around 8,000 lbs.) and has a body length of 6,5 meters (around 21ft). Two names have been made public, Nukka and Tyson, although it is not known from which capture those individuals are.
The scientific journal MARINE MAMMALS OF THE HOLARCTIC (pp. 100) states that two orcas captured in August 2013 had been named Grace and Orpheus. That was while still in Russia, these names might have changed after the transport to China.
According to Chinese news reports, the whales are “very smart and lively”, in a “huge pool swimming freely”, and have windows that guests can look through to see the whales. The animals are being fed with ten types of fish (even though they are all likely marine mammal hunters). The fish is being imported from Canada, Norway, Australia and several other countries. The whales have an average intake of 50kg food each, of which the least amount is 35kg and the most is 74 kg a day.
The park has said that the whales are being used for conservation, breeding and science education. According to a French killer whale expert named Julien, all the whales are healthy, are growing and have a “good mental state”.
It is understood that the breeding base has nearly 30 employees, who care for the whales 24 hours a day. The team is closely monitoring the health of the orcas, and collect blood every 3 months. The breathing samples are taken twice a month, ultrasonic examination plus measurements and body temperature are taken twice a week. The park apparently possesses advanced health care equipment. It has invited foreign veterinary experts and animal experts to visit the animals regularly.
Sources: Global Times, China and other Chinese media
Note: National Geographic has an interesting piece about the recent developments in China and Russia, especially Chimelong. Well worth a read!
January 6, 2017:
There is a new documentary called “The Dark History of Killer Whale Captures”, very well done and highly informative. Check it out on YouTube!
January 6, 2017:
Tilikum, the famous male orca at SeaWorld Orlando, has passed away this morning. SeaWorld announced that veterinarians had been treating the 36-year-old killer whale for a “persistent and complicated bacterial lung infection.”
Tilikum had been caught off Iceland in November 1983, being about 3 years old. He was the main character in the documentary “Blackfish”, and especially his tragic history was responsible for convincing SeaWorld to phase out its captive killer whale program.
Source: USA Today