Orca News
Tilikum (1983- SeaWorld Florida)



These are news about captive orcas only (with a few exemptions). If you are interested in news about wild orcas, I suggest the fabulous Orca Network!

June 13, 2014:

On Wednesday the U.S. Congress unanimously passed an amendment that will force the U.S. Department of Agriculture to update their rules that protect captive orcas and other marine mammals. Especially Lolita might benefit from this, since her tank at Miami Seaquarium is disgustingly inadequate. But the bill also increases the pressure on SeaWorld to reconsider their business model.

Source: The Dodo

June 11, 2014:

Voice of San Diego recently held a public roundtable about what SeaWorld and "Blackfish" mean for San Diego. It turned out to be very interesting and lively debate. Here are a couple links to a review and the complete event, which I highly recommend to watch:

To comment on a specific question during the debate: Skyla was exactly 2 years and 4 days old when SeaWorld separated her from her mother Kalina. Also less then 3 years old at separation had been Katerina, Kayla, Keet and Kohana (more on that issue here).

June 11, 2014:

Here are a couple websites who provide further information about the captive killer whale situation in China and Russia, where a new facility is planned in St. Petersburg for 2017 (which is probably where some of the orcas at Nakhodka are supposed to go to):

May 20, 2014:

32-year-old male Bingo is reported to be in poor health, suffering from inflammation in lung and bronchia. According to Port of Nagoya Aquarium, first signs of illness were detected in December last year, with confirmation of fever in early April plus an inflammation-like shadow on the lung in early May. Bingo is also moving rather slow and can no longer participate in the public show. Doesn't sound good for poor Bingo...

Source: The Chunichi Shimbun

May 7, 2014:

The Russian Orcas Project has received the official reply from Rosrybolovstvo (Russian Fisheries Agency) about orcas captured in 2013. The Russian authorities confirmed that 6 orcas were captured: five by "Sochinsky Delphinariy" LLC and one by "Belyi Kit" LLC ("White whale"). They did not specify the age and sex of the captured orcas, neither the dates they were captured.

Source: Russian Orcas

Note: the one whale caught by "Belyi Kit" LLC is presumably the young male that went to Moscow

April 23, 2014:

9-year-old girl Kalia is pregnant, apparently due around December 2014. Ulises is rumoured to be the father through artificial insemination (AI). This means that Kalia was merely eight years old when SeaWorld AI'd her. There were (or maybe still are) plans to transfer Kalia to SeaWorld Texas, which would separate her from her mother Kasatka. One can only hope that SeaWorld doesn't proceed with such an insane move (which, despite their press releases, they have done an awful lot of). Kalia needs all the help she can get, being forced into pregnancy at such a young age...

Source: Digital Journal

Note: in the article it is made known for the first time that Takara at SeaWorld Texas had a miscarriage in March 2012 (she had been AI'd with Kshamenk's semen in July 2011).

April 23, 2014:

SeaWorld treats some of its marine mammals with psychoactive drugs, according to a judicial document. Trainers give their orcas the psychoactive drug benzodiazepine, according to the sworn affidavit filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in a dispute between the park company and the rival company Marineland.

Source: BuzzFeed

April 16, 2014:

SeaWorld has lost its appeal of safety citations issued by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Source: CNN

April 2, 2014:

Miami Seaquarium is being sold to a California-based company that is a subsidiary of Spanish theme park operator Parques Reunidos, which owns Marineland France. It will interesting to see what implications this development has for 47-year-old female Lolita, who is currently being held at Miami Seaquarium and who's future is uncertain after an earlier decision by the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Division that proposed a rule that would add Lolita (aka Tokitae) to her extended family's Endangered Species Act listing.

Source: Miami Herald

March 12, 2014:

California state lawmaker Richard Bloom has proposed legislation that would prohibit marine parks like SeaWorld from using orcas in its Californian shows. The legislation AB2140 has three central objectives: end the use of performing orcas in theme shows, ban captive breeding, and prohibit the import and export of killer whales. Parks would still be allowed to put whales on exhibit in settings similar to aquariums, but not used for performance or entertainment purposes. The legislation would apply to any park in California that provides such entertainment, but SeaWorld in San Diego currently is the only one.

Note: I support the bill, of course, especially the parts about captive breeding, import/export and retirement. We'll see whether it has a chance to succeed considering the economic power of SeaWorld in Southern California.

Here are the proposed bill and an accompanying fact sheet.

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune

Note: on April 8, the California State Assembly committee did not take a formal vote on AB2140, but agreed to have studies conducted over the next year before revisiting the issue in 2015.

February 25, 2014:

A Dutch court will decide in about six weeks whether 7-year-old female Morgan has to remain at Loro Parque or whether she gets a chance to return back to the wild.

Source: Tim Zimmermann

Note: the court date has been postponed until May.

February 12, 2014:

Some of the orcas captured in Russian waters last year might end up in an Iranian Dolphinarium. Ali Hoshmand, Manager of Kish Dolphin Park, announced that orca will be displayed in Kish Island.

Source: Government of Iran

Note: some background on the Russian captures by Tim Zimmermann and Themed Reality.

January 29, 2014:

In a reverse decision the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Division proposed a rule that would add 47-year-old female Lolita to her extended family's Endangered Species Act listing. The consequences of such a rule have to be seen. Obviously it would be marvellous if Lolita were allowed to retire in her native Pacific Northwest waters. But it could also lead to her being transfered to a Sea World park instead. Fingers crossed...

Source: Outside Magazine

January 21, 2014:

Two Russian orcas have been moved from Vladivostok to a new marine park in China, Chimelong Ocean Kingdom on Hengqin Island (close to Macau / Hong Kong).

Source: Russian Orcas

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