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Humpback whale underwater

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Black Sea common dolphins © Elena Gladilina

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Minke whale © Ursula Tscherter - ORES

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Boto © Fernando Trujillo

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Tokitae in captivity

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Orcas at the seabed

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What is happening at Sea World?

It seems the sad litany of injuries to orcas continues at Sea World. Nakai appears to have suffered a serious injury in an incident at Sea World California.

Nakai was born in captivity in September 2001.

SeaWorld are reported to have said that “Nakai is currently receiving antibiotics and the veterinarians are pleased with the healing progress of his wound,” Sea World spokesman, Koontz said. Nakai is “swimming comfortably and interacting with other killer whales” at the park, Koontz said.

I am afraid I would be more concerned than Sea World seem to be. The injury is deep and significant. Unfortunately you can also see that Nakai’s teeth are very worn, which would be unusual in a wild free orca.

These teeth are typical of captive orcas that have been grinding their teeth on bars and concrete in their tanks.

The cause of the wound is more difficult to assess. According to Sea World the injusry happened when “when he came into contact with a portion of the pool on Sept. 20”.

We regularly see problems with captivity for orca, but I have to say that this is one of the most traumatic set of images we have seen for a while.

Please don’t frequent Sea World, you are only perpetuating this kind of suffering if you do. You can read more about this incident at the WDCS North American site