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US government refuses to shield endangered right whales from lethal ship collisions

The Biden administration in the US has denied an emergency petition that seeks to protect...

Automated cruelty – vending machines in Japan now dispense dead whale

In an effort to prop up the cruel and declining whale hunting industry in Japan,...

The Yogscast raises an ocean-sized donation for WDC

The New Year started with a bang for whales and dolphins thanks to Bristol-based gaming...
Russia captive orca NARNIA_2017_2 CREDIT Oxana Fedorova

Narnia the orca dies at Russian dolphinarium

Narnia the orca performs in Russia © Oxana Fedorova Narnia, a wild orca taken from...

WDC joins call for SeaWorld to release full details of Tilikum's death

WDC has signed on to an open letter calling for SeaWorld to follow their legal obligations under the US National Marine Fisheries Service to release Tilikum’s full necropsy (animal autopsy). This also applies to his offspring and grand-offspring, including Kyara, the last orca calf to be born at SeaWorld, who died in July.

This information would be a valuable resource for scientists working to conserve wild orca populations, as it would provide detail on the type of bacteria and pathogens that can affect orcas, and what they might be most susceptible to, even though stress and prevalence of certain pathogens in captivity is certainly different than what wild orcas may be exposed to.  For example, a recent study on the critically endangered Southern Resident orca population showed surprising pathogens present in their exhalations, including suspected antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and, according to SeaWorld, Tilikum died from an antibiotic-resistant strain of bacterial pneumonia

Find out more about orcas in captivity

About George Berry

George is a member of WDC's Communications team and website coordinator.