Narnia, a wild orca taken from the sea and held at the Moskvarium facility in Moscow has died.
In a statement issued by the dolphinarium, officials say she died unexpectedly, showing no prior signs of illness.
Narnia was thought to be around 17 years old and spent her first years of life with her family in the Sea of Okhotsk before she was captured in 2012. She was then transported over 9,000 kilometres and kept for months with another orca in a warehouse, without natural light and fresh air.
The following year Narnia was moved to a new dolphinarium in Moscow, and in 2015 she was transported to the newly built Moskvarium, dolphinarium, the largest facility of its kind on the European continent at the time. Two other orcas, a beluga whale and several bottlenose dolphins are currently kept there and used in shows to entertain the public.
Between 2012 and 2018, at least 29 orcas were snatched from their family groups in Russian waters and taken into captivity. Two are still in Moscow, 15 were sold to China and ten were released in 2019 because they were caught without permission from the government. The bond between orca mothers and calves in the wild are extremely close and last for a lifetime. Captivity is cruel, causes stress, and denies whales and dolphins the space and freedom they have in the ocean.
In the past few months three orcas held captive in the Loro Parque tourist attraction in Tenerife, Spain have died.