Tilikum (1983-2017 SeaWorld Florida)
Orca News

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!

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 rumour, 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 appearence 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 inviduals 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

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