Posted 1 week ago
Scarring on cetaceans has been recorded for a wide range of species with many of these scars attributed to inter-male aggression [citation omitted], but prolific scarring has also been reported on females of some species.
[citations omitted]. The extensive scarring of the two adult male killer whales reported here cannot be positively attributed to one sex or the other, but it is highly probable
that conspecifics [the same species] caused the parallel tooth rakes, due to the spacing of the rake marks. Scheffer (1969) reports a killer whale marked with regular lines suggesting scars made by the teeth of another killer whale… It is likely that any other killer whale involved in a mutually aggressive interaction would also show some scarring…Rake marks from killer whales are not uncommon on other species of
cetaceans, e.g., … humpback whales, … gray whales, …bowhead whales. These scars all resemble those reported on the two adult male killer whales in this paper.

Ingrid Visser Paper (1998)

Just for they who refuse to believe rakes don’t happen in the wild.

(via askmewhyisupportseaworld)

Oh look, pro caps just decided that Ingrid Visser is a legitimate source after all. 

Of course raking happens in the wild, no anti cap has ever denied that. BUT heavy raking, such is seen on Tekoa, Morgan and a few others in captivity, is so rare in the wild that Visser wrote this paper about it. Did you even bother to read the whole paper? 

(Source: )

Posted 1 week ago



I’ve decided to put together a small anti-captivity giveaway as I’m in a good mood and all that :).

So here’s what you need to know:

If you end up being the lucky winner you can choose one of the following (depending on prices at the competition end I may even be able to combine some of the prizes):

- To have an orca of your choice adopted through The Whale Museum.
- A copy of David Kirby’s book, Death at SeaWorld.
A DVD copy of Blackfish .
- A DVD copy of The Cove.

Incase the winner chooses the DVD option I will purchase the prizes after a winner has been announced (just to make sure the DVD bought is for the correct region) and all prizes will be shipped directly to you after purchase - wherever you may be :).

** In order to be in with a chance of winning you must be following my anti-captivity blog Captivity Kills and have reblogged this post. **

You can reblog/enter as many times as you’d like and a winner will be announced (using a random generator) on May 24th 2014 - the same day as Empty The Tanks Worldwide.

Posted 2 weeks ago
Posted 2 weeks ago




(Photo: St. Thomas Productions, Jean-François Barthod)

This one hour Animal Planet doc, which can be viewed full here, serves as a nice introduction to the Crozet orcas, covering the fish-eating offshore population, and the transient pods that frequent their hunting grounds on Possession Island.

Posted 2 weeks ago
Posted 2 weeks ago
A lot of people fear that Lolita would get sick from pollutants if put back into her home waters. I emailed Orca Network and got back a response quickly: apparently the pollutants (whose levels have been going down in her area) would not be a threat to Lolita. They mostly represent a threat to newborns getting it from their mothers, and malnourished adults. Lolita is neither. Plus, they develop immunity in their first few years of life, so Lolita would already have it. <3 Repost so people know?
Anonymous asked






Thanks for sharing the info.

I found it rather lame how some people were arguing against Lolita’s release because of pollutants or of fear that she might infect the wild populations with germs.
It’s grasping at straws. People said the same when Keiko was getting released. “He will infect the wild whales!” His test results showed he was in perfect health but people still wouldn’t let it go.

But it’s great that the pollutants theory has been debunked in Lolita’s case. Now the captive industry and pro caps can’t cling to that excuse anymore.

I’m glad that one message from an anonymous messenger is enough to debunk a legitimate concern.

Just because pollution levels have been going down does not mean they do not pose a risk. there is still a giant garbage island floating around, that no one seems to care about. Placing her in that environment would pose a threat to her, the whales of the Pacific Northwest have gone through much more humanly impacts which would cause them to have developed a stronger immune system, unlike the one Toki has. Wild orcas develop internal parasites and pathogens which they are immune too, toki is not immune to them as she hasn’t been exposed to them as much as the SRKW’s have been. In captivity animals are exposed to other pathogens and parasites which they grow immune to, yet are unrecognisable by wild populations, thus poses a threat to wild populations. 

This ‘giant garbage island’ is in the middle of the Pacific, and is permanently trapped in the North Pacific Gyre - Lolita is going to have to be far from home to even come into it’s vicinity. No one care about it (in Lolita’s specific case) because, although located in the same ocean as the Southern Residents, it’s hundred to tens of thousands of miles away from them at all times. 

Also, orca (like every other mammal on the planet) receive the vast majority of their immunity through their mother milks as calves - meaning that before Lolita was ripped from her mother side and home she had already received her lions share of her natural defences to the pollutants that surround the Southern Residents. Had there been a large scale change in the Southern Residents immunity (i.e. if massive numbers of the Southern Residents died off suddenly due to a disease) or had something human (I’m assuming that’s what you meant by humanly - if you mean humanely I’m not sure what a humane impact is) effected the Southern Residents (i.e. something like an oil spill of the Exxon Valdez/BP size) then releasing Lolita would have to be far more carefully thought about. However, as neither has happened, and as Lolita’s home waters have gotten cleaner since her capture these ‘dangerous pathogens and parasites’ you are talking about are something Lolita has not only been exposed to - they are something she is most likely immune to.  

Least to mention the fish she’s been eating? Just because it’s “restuarant quality” doesn’t mean it’s void of any lingering mercury traces or other chemicals. She’s been eating toxins for 40+ years.
There’s no guarantee that she’s going to be safe in captivity. There have been dozens and dozens of cases of dolphins becoming sick and even dying from junk thrown into their tank by tourists. Including those at MSQ. 
Not to mention that In 2010 Andrew Hertz, General Manager of Miami Seaquarium, stated his intention to file a $3 to $5 million dollar claim against BP citing his need to upgrade the marine parks filtration system after the oil contamination from the Gulf of Mexico spill was threatening the waters of Biscayne Bay, where the parks draws the water for many of the SeaQuariums exhibits, including Lolita, the dolphins, seals and more.  
Posted 2 weeks ago


People who think SeaWorld is 100% bad are the people who upset me. Yes SeaWorld has done and still does bad things, but they do good things too. I mean they helped an abandoned baby grey whale that had been beached and then released it back into the wild. SeaWorld has done some good things. I…

SeaWorld DO rescue animals, and that’s fantastic and no one wants to see them stop doing that. BUT, there are two important factors to remember. 

  • 1) Just because they rescue animals is no excuse to keep sentient, self-aware non-human persons in captivity for entertainment. 
  • 2) Many other facilities that don’t keep captive cetaceans rescue just as many, and in some cases more animals than SeaWorld does. Both the Pacific Marine Mammal Center and The Marine Mammal center rescue more seals and sealions per year than all three SeaWorlds combined, and they do so on a shoe-string budget. SeaWorld have the facilities, money and influence to rescue WAY more animals than they do currently. 

As some others have said, SeaWorld initially refused to provide any help for J.J. It was in fact Marine Animal Rescue, which were the first to arrive and spent two full days and nights watching over her, and the dozens of other volunteers from LAPD, US Coast Guard, Marina Del Rey citizens and countless others that selflessly gave their time and energy to keep her wet and safe. Even after public pressure mounted on SeaWorld and they agreed to take her, they insisted MAR pay for a truck, load J.J on it and deliver her literally straight to their doorstep. Yet after J.J’s release they took, and continue to take, all the credit as if they did all the work and rescued her by themselves.

Posted 2 weeks ago



Dolphin/killer whale show 🐬🐳 #seaquarium #miami #dolphins #orca

That tank is too small for even Lolita, but I often forget she has to share it with lags.

Hard to believe some people know all about her situation and still think it’s perfectly fine.

Don’t forget one of them (Munchkin) is on a breeding loan from SeaWorld. I think one of the others is from Shedd Aquarium. 

Posted 2 weeks ago


First off, a bit of basic information about the orca that live around Japan. 

  • Their range extends from the North Pacific Ocean to Russia’s Sea of Okhotsk.
  • Visually, they look very similar to the resident whales that live around the Pacific North West.
  • Two eco-types have been identified to live in Japan.; a fish eating Resident type and a mammal eating Transient type.
  • Due to post World War II fallout, orca were hunted extensively  along the coast, as such the numbers of whales left is very low. Since studies began, less than 150 whales have been photo identified. Just 39 of those are transients. 
  • Over the years, a total of  28 orcas were captured in Japan for the marine park industry of which 19 were taken into captivity. All of them are now dead.
Posted 3 weeks ago
"By the age of one year, calves at SeaWorld eat 23 to 27 kg (50–60 lb.) of herring, smelt, and squid per day" (Seaworld Website). Why wouldn't they feed the whales salmon if the majority of their whales are residents?
jokinglysirius asked


The majority of their wild caught whales are Icelandic would feed mostly on herring in the wild, but even if their main food source was salmon (like Corky’s would be if she was wild) it wouldn’t matter because salmon is expensive and herring is cheap. SeaWorld doesn’t care about what they would naturally eat, they only care about money.

They also forced transient orcas to eat fish even when they were designed to eat mammals.

Icelandic orca are mainly fish eaters but they have been seen killing seals and minke whales. In 2008 two whale-watching boats from Húsavik in the north of Iceland watched as a pod of 20-30 Orcas killed a minke whale.

To my knowledge no captive orca has ever been fed a 100% natural diet. Lolita gets salmon, but I don’t know what percentage of her diet is salmon or what type of salmon it is.

Posted 3 weeks ago



Actually becoming a little bit obsessed with killer whales, they’re so beautiful and interesting and I just want to know everything about them. I’ve watched 3 documentaries and done a shit load of online reading but I think I want a fact book. Does anyone know of a good orca book to recommend ?

Here’s a few that I enjoyed reading:

Death At SeaWorld
Orca: The Whale Called Killer
Into Great Silence
Listening to Whales
The Lost Whale

If you want a general all round fact book, either Killer Whales of the World: Natural History and Conservation by Robin W. Baird or Orca: Visions of the Killer Whale by Peter Knudtson are probably the best. 

Posted 3 weeks ago

Reblog this at add the name of your favorite whale/ dolphin












I’ll start:


Doing this Again,

Always gonna be Keiko.

AB17 Nellie Juan

Taima, naturally

Mega (L41) of course!


j-41, eclipse <3

Joy (L119)/ Orkid/ Makani


Mega L-41/ Joy L-119\Keet

L-54 Ino.

(Source: matt-smith-and-baconnn)

Posted 3 weeks ago


If SeaWorld is “saving an entire species” why aren’t they doing anything to help the Residents and their dwindling food supply? Or just trying to better the lives of wild orcas everywhere? They’re not saving anything, they’re just trying to save their bullshit industry.

If SeaWorld were even remotely interested in saving the Southern Residents, they wouldn’t call Ken Balcomb "an animal rights activist masquerading as a scientist" on their website, just because he doesn’t agree with keeping orca in captivity. Especially when he’s released more scientific papers on killer whales than they have.

Posted 3 weeks ago
What are some links that you use to learn more about the New Zealand orcas? Is there any database that lists all the NZ orcas along with their "first seen" year or estimated age?
Anonymous asked


About NZ orcas, you can find a lot here:

And not that I know of, no :( Which is weird, if anyone finds their ages let us know! 

In this article it lists 17 of the most easy to identify in NZ, but unfortunately it does not list their ages.

I asked about having an ID chart / database of the NZ orca on the website a while ago ago and was told;  ”we do want to put a catalogue on the website - but it takes 100’s of hours of work to prepare these and we are struggling to keep up with all the other work we have to do. But it is on our list of things to do”.

Posted 1 month ago




Sumatran tiger triplets born at London zoo!

Read more here!

And to save the Sumatran tiger from extinction, check this out!

Unfortunately this is a double edge sword, because although new tigers cubs have been born, which is great, it means the captive gene pool just got a whole lot smaller. 

The problem is, all Sumatran tigers held in zoos outside of Indonesia, are descended from just 14 parents (apart from three cubs acquired from a wild caught mother that were sent to Australia zoo in 2008. The first time Indonesia has exported tigers our of the Country in 30 years). No matter how you move animals around between zoos on breeding loans, the gene pool is still tiny. Zoos are going to run out of genetic combinations very soon as health issues will start to show up in animals (if they aren’t showing up already).

Nor will these cubs, or captive tiger breeding in general, help their wild counterparts. To date there has never been a successful captive breeding and release program for any of the big cat species. We need to focus on saving tigers in the wild rather than continue this pointless exercise of breeding them in zoos.

Actually there have been quite a few successful reintroductions of big cats into the wild. None have been more successful than the reintroduction of George Adamson’s Lions at Kora National Reserve in Kenya, nor have big cats been release on a larger scale. No doubt you’ve heard of Elsa the Lioness and Christian the Lion - both were successfully release by George Adamson. Along with all the lions in the Born Free film (bar Boy). Captive born tigers have also been released (Tara being the most famous - and also the most controversial) although not often. Captive breeding of big cats can help wild animal, unfortunately zoos don’t seen prepared to release them often enough - and that is definitely a problem, particularly when zoos claim they’re all for conservation. It seem to be the just don’t want to do the work with harder to release animals like big cats. However, Bengal, Siberian and South China Tigers have all been successfully released into the wild, along with African Leopards, Cheetahs and Lions so something can be said for those zoos who do put the effort in, I definitely wouldn’t say captive breeding is completely pointless.

However, Sumatran Tigers are definitely the worst candidate of any Tiger for release and captive breeding is not going to save them - particularly not with the amount of habitat destruction going on. The focus needs to shift pretty quickly to habitat preservation. If the tigers have no where to live what’s the point in saying we’re making an effort to protect them.

There was an in-depth piece on zoos last year in Wildlife magazine, I’ve just dug out my copy, it says; "There has never been a successful release program for zoo-bred giant pandas, chimps, orangutans, or tigers - nor in fact, for any captive-raised big cats, though a plan for reintroductions of the critically endangered Amur leopard have been proposed".

I guess they don’t count Adamsons’ work as zoo based reintroductions . Plus Christian wandered onto another reserve after release and there was no proof that he actually survived or produced cubs of his own. 

Last time I checked the project out, the release for the South China tigers keeps being pushed back, have the finally release them now? Do you have any more information on that?.