Video of Ran at Port of Nagoya teaching her new sister how to eat fish.
Video belongs to Port of Nagoya.
Video of Ran at Port of Nagoya teaching her new sister how to eat fish.
Video belongs to Port of Nagoya.
Ok people, you all know how important this is.
There are a small group of people trying to get the Southern Resident orcas taken off of the Endangered Species list, an action that could have devastating consequences for this tiny, unique population.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take five minutes of your time to write a (polite) comment stating why you disagree with this.
Comment and share.
Stella at the Port of Nagoya Aquarium in Japan was due to give birth in December, but all shows at the dolphin and whale stadium have been suspended, so the birth will probably happen in the next few days.
It will be the first killer whale birth at the park.
Orcahome.de have a new page up detailing the link between whales who have attacked trainers and those who have been taken away from their mothers at a young age.
“It is telling that there are only very few incidents where the killer whale involved was still with its mother”.
The Free Morgan petition received a huge boost in the last few hours and has now gone over 100,000 signatures!!!
Well done every one who signed. You’re all made of awesome.
“Individuals play various roles in maintaining social integrity of mammalian populations. However, many models developed for managing wildlife resources assume that all individuals are equal. Killer whales are social animals that rely on relationships within and among family groups for survival. In the northeastern Pacific, fish-eating, ‘resident’ killer whale populations are composed of matrilines from which offspring do not disperse. We analysed the influence of various individuals’ age, sex and matrilineal affiliation on their position in a social network. Here, we show that some matrilines appeared to play more central roles than others in the network. Furthermore, juvenile whales, especially females, appeared to play a central role in maintaining network cohesion. These two key findings were supported subsequently by simulating removal of different individuals. The network was robust to random removals; however, simulations that mimicked historic live-captures from the northeastern Pacific were likely to break the network graph into isolated groups. This finding raises concern regarding targeted takes, such as live-capture or drive fisheries, of matrilineal cetaceans”.
This is why catching killer whales from the wild doesn’t work!. Every individual is a much needed member with an important role in the community. Removing animals will cause harm to the population for many years afterward.
Source - The study ‘A killer whale social network is vulnerable to targeted removals’ by Rob Williams and David Lusseau, 2012
Ever since Kamogawa SeaWorld orca Lovey gave birth on July 19th, Oscar has been separated from the other whales at the park (two females, a juvenile male and the new calf), due to aggression issues from the females towards him.
NEWLY RELEASED - never before seen footage of Kasatka attacking and almost killing Ken Peters. Obtained via FOIA request, and used in the OSHA court case, this is the first time this footage has been publicly released. It was filmed by SeaWorld’s cameras, and has no audio.
Note - the attack was caused by trainers separating Kasatka from her calf Kalia, so she could perform in the show. At some point during the show, Kalia made a distress sound and Kasatka tried to swim backstage to be with her calf. SeaWorld trainers did not want to “reward” Kasatkas bad behavior, and refused to open the gates to let her go and reassure her baby. So Kasatka took her frustrations out on her trainers. Apparently, it’s a reward to let a frantic mother check on her child. Who could blame her.
When a whale or dolphin becomes anxious, they breathe more often. A killer whale will normally breathe once or twice a minute. Watch during the 3/4 minute mark, Kasatka is breathing every couple of seconds, indicating that she is EXTREMELY stressed. You can also see the look on Peters, face as he battles shock, fear, pain and hypothermia.
A program of preventive and curative veterinary care and nutrition is something all zoos are required to do by law, it’s not something that parks do out of the kindness of their hearts.
And despite all that care captive orcas are still dying decades before their wild counterparts. And don’t say those are outdated statistics - Of the 34 orcas that have died since 2000, only 1 made it to its thirties, eight made it to their twenties and eleven never saw their fifth birthday. I’m not saying that captive animals never die of natural causes, but if even the best vet care in the world can’t keep these animals alive, then they shouldn’t be in captivity.
The trouble with making statements like they receive ”excellent veterinary care” is that in 1994 the Marine Mammal Protection Act was reformed, which meant that marine parks where an animal died no longer had to release the necropsy (animal autopsy) report to the public and to the worldwide scientific community. Marine parks now only have to announce a cause of death. Necropsy reports and important details about the animal’s illness and death are now a closely guarded secret (isn’t that a little suspicious?).
These reports need to be made public again before people can say with any authority that the animals in captivity are healthy.
Have you read Winston’s necropsy that was released shortly before the disclosure ban? I certainly wouldn’t have called him a healthy animal. His cause of death was announced as “Chronic Heart Failure”. Such an illness undoubtedly happens in the wild population too, so the diagnosis wouldn’t raise much concern if a captive animal suffered the same fate.
BUT, if you look at the rest of his Necropsy report it reads like a horror story,
It includes –
# Decline in appetite and general health six months prior to death
# Acute kidney failure two weeks prior to death
# Skin lesions on dorsal fin and chin
# Ischemic and pale looking muscles
# Acute heart congestion with tracheal fluid.
# Both lungs filled with “Numerous marble sized lesions”
# His heart had “Numerous baseball sized lesions”
# He had a history of heart attacks.
# Swollen liver
# cirrhotic pancreas
# Lesions around the anus.
# Very pale Kidneys that looked like they were an “old animals”
# Profuse bleeding around the adrenal glands
# Swollen and congested thorax
# Enlarged and bleeding spleen.
It notes that he had the body of a very old animal.- He was just 19 when he died. Yet had access to “restaurant quality” food, “world class vet care”, un polluted water, ect…………
Killer whales are among the smartest animals on the planet, yet every single marine park that has them, keeps them in barren, featureless tanks with plain concrete walls. Trainers do their best to keep the animals entertained through games and toys but it is not nearly good enough. When keepers get called away to do other tasks it is common to see the animals swimming in endless, boring, repetitive laps or logging at the surface. And yes, I have seen this in person, and no I’m not getting cetacean sleep confused with plain old boredom.
Marine parks claim that the animals are kept mentally stimulated through doing shows and training. But how can this be true when the animals do the same tricks up to 8 times a day for decades. Because lets face it, the shows may have changed names over the years but the majority of the tricks in them have stayed the same.
For example, the trick where the trainer holds up a fish and the whale shakes its head as if to say ‘No’, but when the trainer holds up a bucket full of fish the whales nods its head ‘Yes’. It is a popular SeaWorld trick which always gets a big laugh from the crowds, but it has been performed since at least the mid nineties. The whales are surely bored of it by now.
In the books Death at SeaWorld, and Song of the Whale, a true story about a whale called Hyak is described. Paul Spong felt sorry for Hyak as he was all alone and would spend all day logging in his tiny tank, not moving. Paul began to reward Hyak with music every time he moved:
“I’ll reward you for anything you do that isn’t just sitting in that corner. And under those circumstances his behaviour underwent an incredible transformation. This little whale, he’d been sitting there so quietly, all alone, and then I played my records and he became this unbelievably energetic little guy.
Paul played everything for the little whale, Mozart, Miles Davis, the Moody Blues. Hyak seemed to like it all. But what he liked more than anything was music that was new. One day Paul put on an album by the famous Indian Sitar player Ravi Shankar. He was so interested in that, he responded to it so enthusiastically, so the next day I went down and played it to him again, and we didn’t get more than a few seconds into it when he stopped and went straight back to his corner. He sat there and waited for me to put on something else. He didn’t want to hear what he’s already heard again. He wanted something new.
And finally to address your last point, Killer whales in captivity have to go through - having their calves taken away from them at an early age, the isolation of male orcas, the breeding of hybrid and inbred whales, the unnatural levels of raking and aggression, females being bred too early and to often, being kept in small tanks with rarely any protection from the elements, being kept in water that is too warm (Morgan), UV and sunburn exposure, being shut for hours in underwater viewing tanks with nowhere to hide from noisy crowds, families being split up, being forced to live in faux ‘pods’ with whales they sometimes don’t get along with, unnatural diets, AI, having to undergo uncomfortable medical procedures…….
I certainly wouldn’t call all that an “incredible quality of life”
New blog post about Shouka’s aggression towards her trainer.
All the whales currently alive in captivity have been fathered by just 10 different males. This graph shows how many calves each whales has fathered. It is a tiny gene pool that doesn’t have much hope of getting much bigger any time soon. Even the upcoming inclusion of Kshamenk won’t make any long term difference.
SeaWorld are no longer able to acquire wild caught animals after incurring heavy criticism due to their cruel capture techniques. Recently SeaWorld announced their intention to obtain sperm (and possibly eggs) from dead wild killer whales, with which they plan to Artificially inseminate their female whales with back at the park.
Remember that every time SeaWorld go to ‘help’ any sick or stranded whales and the animal dies, or when they go to ‘help’ wild orca experts perform necropsies. Such as when four SeaWorld vets rushed to perform the necropsies of two whales found dead in an Alaskan river last year.
Alex: After writing your book do you think it’s acceptable to keep Orca’s in captivity?
David Kirby: I have no problem, even as journalist, saying that after examining the evidence very carefully and very objectively, because I did not approach this as any kind of anti-captivity person, I just don’t see how you can come to any other conclusions. I just want people to ask themselves if they were a brilliant, large communicative animal, who has life long bonds to their family, who travel 100 miles a day in their natural range, were playful and more like us than most people realize, to be locked up in a small confinement, whether they were captured or whether they were born there, justification for that practice, in my mind, is no longer possible.
Read the rest of the Q&A session with David Kerby here -
Interesting cetacean story: Vol 1
Here’s a interesting little story about a young 9 year old captive female orca called Bjossa who lived at the Vancouver Aquarium. She lived with an 18 year old male called Hyak and 6 year old male Finna.
For some reason, Bjossa never really bonded with the other two whales in the tank, maybe due to the unnatural social structure of not having an older dominant female to take control.
The two males got along well and would regularly play together, leaving Bjossa to herself much of the time. So she befriended the sea gulls who would hang around the pool, hoping to get some free fish.
At the end of a show, the trainers would feed the whales whatever was left in the food buckets. Keeping these fish in her mouth, she would swim to the edge of the pool and open her mouth and allow many birds to take the fish directly from her mouth.
Sometimes between shows, if she didn’t have any fish, she would open her mouth and allow the birds to peck at her mouth and tongue, sometimes to the point where it would bleed and she would require veterinary attention.
Over time, she developed another feeding game where she would hover about a meter underwater and the gulls would dive under to take food from her mouth. She would spend a lot of time spyhoping to keep an eye on where ‘her’ birds were.
The birds could tell the three whales apart and would fly away whenever the two males tried approaching them.
A quote from a study on her behavior said -
“Although the gulls’ reward is obvious, that to the whale is not. It is possible, however, that the gulls are an important source of “entertainment” for Bjossa. Captive animals live in restricted environments and thus are unable to exhibit the full range of their behavioral repertories In some cases, this may lead to novel forms of “self-amusement.” For example, there are many accounts of captive dolphins “playing” with other species that share their enclosures, including birds, turtles, fish, and other cetaceans. In Bjossa’s case, the “need” for alternative forms of behavioral stimulation may have been accentuated owing to social factors within the group.Perhaps the best analogue to the whale-gull interactions as described here is the relationship between humans and their pets”
Source - Killer Whale Shares Food With Gulls at the Vancouver Public Aquarium. Charles Nordquist and Michael Hutchins. Department of Psychology, Animal Behavior Program, University of Washington, Seattle. 1985.
It’s the second anniversary of Morgans capture today.
“How long a whale lasts in captivity depends on the animals age at capture and his personality - also on the trainer. You have to be able to challenge them, to know how their minds work. The mark of a good trainer - to too many aquarium owners - is how many tricks you can train them to do in two months. That’s not the point. It’s how long you can maintain the whales sanity….
But you take juvenile orcas: they’re really pretty eager for at least a year, after that, if you can keep them interested…But it’s difficult because the novelty wears off. - But they’re curious enough and interested enough that they wont be driven neurotic in a year. Based on the whales I worked with at Sealand and at the Vancouver Aquarium and the ones I’ve observed in the Californian Aquariums, They all start to get a little bit nutty after two years.” - Graeme Ellis.
Quote from a SeaWorld paper…
“Neurotic behaviour patterns have been observed to develop in cetaceans kept in isolation. They show erratic behaviour such as rolling in the water, ramming their heads against the side of the pool and even biting their trainer. This behaviour ceases when other animals are placed in the pool with them as companions”.
Shouka has been in isolation for almost 9 months now at Six Flags in California. If anyone hasn’t yet signed the petition to try to get Shouka a companion, please do so.