Orca News
Sharkan (1989-2009 Marineland Antibes, France)
December 24, 2009:
A Loro Parque trainer has been accidentally killed by one of the whales during a training session. The trainer was 29-year-old Alexis Martínez, and the accident occurred at 10.30 am this morning during the first training session for the Christmas Special planned for the New Year. The other 7 trainers were also present in the training session. As far as can be determined right now, Alexis was hit by a whale, and his death was caused by drowning because he was under the water unconscious for several minutes before he could be rescued. He was immediately assisted by the specialist personnel at Loro Parque and Emergency Services were called immediately. Amidst resuscitation attempts, he was transferred to the Bell Vue Clinic by ambulance, where he was admitted with cardiac arrest. Obviously, an autopsy will be needed before the precise cause of death can be confirmed. The news has distressed Loro Parque staff immensely, and the planned Orca show has been suspended for the moment. Alexis had worked at the Parque since 2004, where he was dearly loved by colleagues. (Source: Janet Anscombe)
Update: apparently the whale involved was subadult male Keto
November 22, 2009:
There are rumours that 24-year-old female Nami will be transferred from Taiji to Port of Nagoya next spring. Nagoya had lost their only orca Ku in September 2008 and was looking for a replacement since. The move would end the public display of killer whales at Taiji after more than 30 years.
October 10, 2009:
The rumours had been flying around for a couple weeks but now it is official. SeaWorld has been sold to an investment firm, The Blackstone Group, in a $2.7 billion deal. SeaWorld stated that immediate changes were unlikely.

Source: San Diego Union Tribune
August 29, 2009:
A recently discovered news article in the Boca Raton Newspaper from December 2, 1981, states that Lolita was pregnant several times when she was still with her now long gone mate Hugo.

I have no information about how many times she was pregnant, nor further details about those miscarriages or stillbirths. But thanks to Niki Gianni for digging this up!
May 24, 2009:
After Marineland Ontario opened his gates for the 2009 season it has been discovered that Athena is missing. The little girl was just over four years old and passed away this spring. No details about her death are known and, considering Marineland's past of obsessive secrecy, might be hard to come by. Athena's death leaves her mother Kiska alone with six years old boy Ikaika, who got transferred there from Sea World Florida in November 2006. Kiska has now lost all of her five offspring. Since 2004 Marineland Ontario has seen six orca deaths plus two miscarriages.
February 8, 2009:
17 year old female orca Takara was moved from SeaWorld Florida to SeaWorld Texas last Thursday. Here's the official statement: SeaWorld Media Site.
January 6, 2009:
Last Saturday night 23 year old female orca Sharkan passed away at Marineland Antibes, France. She had been fighting a bacterial infection since the end of September. Unfortunately all the medical care was not enough to help her make it through this illness.
Sharkan had been captured off Iceland in October 1989 when she was about four years old. The other whales in this capture, Ran, Yamato/Tanouk and Ai died already between 1995 and 2004. Sharkan leaves behind three offspring, Shouka, Inouk and Wikie. 1993 born female Shouka was sent to Six Flags Ohio in May 2002 and transferred two years later to Six Flags California, where she remains without a killer whale companion. Young males Inouk (born in 1999) and Wikie (born in 2001) remain at Marineland Antibes, together with 27 year old Icelandic female Freya and her son Valentin (born in 1996). There is rumour that some of the whales in France might be moved to a park in Spain which is owned by the same company. But there has been no new information on that issue for some time now.
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