1/20/15-Using Facebook, you can now vote to name Kalia's calf! The choices are Amaya meaning "Night Rain" in Arabic, Kissa meaning "First Born Daughter" in African and Nasia meaning "Immortal" in Greek! Here's the link.
1/23/15-It's official! Kalia's calf has been named Amaya!
1/29/15-There are rumors that there are now four orcas at Chimelong Ocean Kingdom.
5/29/15-Trua is again being seen regularly with the other members of the Orlando pod. Over the last year, he had not been grouped with them as often. Tilikum has also been seen with other members of the pod, including Katina and Makaio.
6/17/15-SeaWorld still has hope for Katina to have another calf. Recently, someone asked the park if Katina would have an 8th calf. The park replied saying that they hoped so since she has been a great mom, but also pointed out that since she is getting older she may not be able to if she ends up going through menopause. Here's a link to the question. We have been keeping a close eye on the Ask SeaWorld page for interesting developments and plan on updating soon with any new information.
6/20/15-It comes with great sadness, but unfortunately we must inform you that Freya passed away today at Marineland Antibes from an illness she had been fighting.
7/1/15-More interesting questions were asked on Ask SeaWorld. The first question was if SeaWorld had done any genetics testing on their Icelandic whales to see if they were related before breeding them. They replied saying they did do genetic testing and that the orcas were not related. Another person asked why there were no video feeds of the whales. SeaWorld stated that while they used to have video feeds, they plan on reintroducing video cameras into the Blue World Project.
7/24/15-There is a possibility that another orca has been captured in Russia. A picture has appeared that was supposedly taken several days ago. There is always a chance that the picture is of an older capture and that it only went online several days ago. Until more is known, the website will not be updated. If it is confirmed to be a new capture then we will update.
8/7/15-New concept art for Shanghai Haichang Polar Ocean World has been released. This facility is one that was in question of obtaining some of the Russian orcas. Old concept art, seen below, showed a killer whale stadium. New concept art still shows a stadium and an additional picture of the entrance also has several killer whale fountains. The park is not scheduled to open until 2017 or 2018, but the park has several other sister parks with other marine mammals. This is just speculation, but if they obtained any of the Russian captures, the other parks would give them a place to live and train them until the new Polar Ocean World opened. While this could be a possibility, we still do not know the exact location of several of the orcas who were captured.
8/11/15-We have been doing some digging, and we came across what could be Chimelong Ocean Kingdom's orca facility plans.
"A ten acre indoor marine life park will be added to Ocean Kingdom. Highlights will include a ten story ferris wheel and a 6000 seat arena for marine mammal performances (although the particular animal has not been confirmed by Chimelong, early concept work for the park indicated plans to house killer whales, an animal also slated for Haichang Holding’s Polar Ocean World park in Shanghai)." Source.
A second article states that Phase 2 started on January 29, 2015 and is expected to be finished this year. Source.
8/15/15-Russian Orcas has confirmed that 3 orcas were recently captured in Russia. They stated:
"Over the past few days, the Far East Russia Orca Project (FEROP) has obtained information that three killer whales have been captured in the Okhotsk Sea in the Russian Far East. The first one, captured in early July, was moved through Sakhalinsky Bay on July 15, 2015. Since then, two more have been captured. Two have been captured by TINRO, the Russian Pacific Scientific Research Fisheries Center, based in Vladivostok in charge of coordinating fisheries research in the Russian Far East (Pacific) waters. The other one was caught by a local team thought to be hired by either the White Sphere/White Whale/Aquatoria group of companies or by Primorsky Aquarium in Vladivostok which opens its new facility this autumn and is thought to want to exhibit killer whales."
They also stated that while 3 orcas are currently at the Moskvarium, 7 may be at Chimelong Ocean Kingdom and the last orca's location is unknown. All of those whales were captured between 2012 and 2014. There are still the 3 new captures.
9/23/15-SeaWorld San Antonio's Unna is battling a fungal infection. Two weeks ago, trainers notice a change in her behavior, where they discovered she had an infection. She has been undergoing treatment and is on medication. To find out more click on the link.
9/26/15-New schematics and concept art of SeaWorld's Blue World Project have been released showing a slightly different design and more areas of the project. The 5.2 million gallon pool has a slight difference than the original concept art that had been released. The new schematics do not have Pool F, the largest pool, connecting to Pool C on the side closer to the stadium. There is also an additional pool being built behind the current medical pool. This pool will take the name of Pool E. The current underwater viewing area is known as pool E, but this will change with the addition of the Blue World. The new E Pool will hold 450,000 gallons. In comparison, Pool C holds 940,000 gallons. These new additions would increase the current stadium to about 9.6 million gallons of water. More pictures can be found here.
9/26/15-SeaWorld San Antonio has added the false floor to one of their back pools. We are unsure as to when this happened, but we know that were at least there in July.
10/5/15-Marineland Antibes has experienced significant flooding and other damages due to a storm that passed through over the weekend. While they say the orcas are doing okay, they did have deaths among sharks, fish and a turtle.
10/8/15-Today the California Coastal Commission voted on SeaWorld's Blue World Project for if they would be approved to build it. The Coastal Commission did approve building the Blue World, but only if SeaWorld did not breed or transfer any additional orcas into the park. They also put a cap on how many orcas the park could hold at once, being 15. Though, if they are not allowed to breed or transfer, we do not see why they would establish a capacity of orcas. These stipulations were put in place at the end of the meeting. The CCC had previously required several other regulations, but these would have allowed breeding and transferring of orcas. SeaWorld has stated that they will look into their options. We would also like to note that we at Orca Pod do not know if this is something the Coastal Commission is allowed to uphold. Others seem to be reporting the same thing. NOAA makes decisions on transfer permits, not the CCC. The CCC is in charge of making sure the environment is not impacted greatly with construction projects and conserving and enhancing the environment. By approving the project, they reveal that the project is in accordance with the CCC's regulations. We will update when we hear any new developments.
10/12/15-We are very saddened to announce that Valentin at Marineland Antibes passed away today. Marineland has stated that they do not know what caused the death at this time. Only time will tell. Rest in peace Valentin.
10/14/15-Marineland Antibes has announced that Valentin passed away from twisted intestines. This is very common in large animals, such as whales, horses and large breed dogs. They have also said that all of their pumps and filtration systems are back up and working. They do not plan on opening back up until January 2016.
10/15/15-Here is a picture that was taken yesterday at Marineland Antibes showing Moana, Keijo, Inouk and Wikie.
10/17/15-We found an interesting video of Kohana, Skyla, Morgan and Adan together at Loro Parque. The video is older. It's from February 2013 and the whales' behavior is filmed for about 54 minutes. In the video, the whales show different social behaviors. They swim together as a group for the most part, though Adan does go off on his own some and rubs his body along the walls. They seem to have come up with some different behaviors they do together as a group. Kohana and Adan would, together, sink to the bottom of the tank and lay their bodies across a drain. Skyla and Adan did this together as well. Kohana and Adan would also do something where Kohana would open her mouth, stick her tongue out, and allow Adan to bite it and let go. Skyla later did this with Adan, and eventually Kohana and Skyla were allowing both Morgan and Adan to bite their tongues. They did this throughout the video. Towards the end of the video, Morgan started swimming under Kohana, almost as if she was attempting to nurse from her, though a little too high on Kohana's underbelly. Adan attempted to do this with Skyla as well, though she didn't seem as content as Kohana. Not really news, just something interesting to share. We uploaded some video stills as well.
10/17/15-SeaWorld has announced that they will take legal action against the California Coastal Commission.
11/9/15-SeaWorld has announced that it will end its theatrical killer whale show One Ocean in 2016 and will open a new attraction in 2017. It sounds like they will still have a show, just with less production. It will probably be more similar to The Shamu Adventure show they did years ago or something like their Killer Whales: Up Close Show. At least, this is what it sounds like, though nothing has been confirmed. It also sounds like they will be making the stadium into a more naturalistic setting. We will post more when news is announced.
11/10/15-A new video has been released showing a young killer whale at TINRO. The female calf has been named Malvina. She looks to be only two or three years old, though this is just an estimate based on her size. She recently arrived at TINRO so it is likely she is one of the whales who was captured this past July. If we find out more, we will update the site. Here is what they mention about Malvina.
"From the Sea of Okhotsk straight to the TINRO-Center in Nakhodka, an orca arrived recently. A killer whale named Malvina (female) is still afraid of cameras and unknown people."
12/9/15-Kamogawa Sea World has announced that Ran 2 was moved back to Kamogawa and that Earth was sent to Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium. They have confirmed through blood tests that Ran has began cycling. In doing so, they hope to stabilize the breeding environment. Earth has not been kept with Lovey, Lara and Luna as often because they tend to displace him. By living at Nagoya, he will be living with his grandmother Stella and aunt Lynn, which will help to distance how closely related they are compared to living with his mother and sister. They hope this will advance their breeding program and expect to progress in the program through artificial insemination. It appears they were moved out on December 7th and arrived on December 8th.
12/11/15-Kamogawa has stated that they moved Ran because Kamogawa is more equiped for breeding and breeding through artificial insemination. They plan to perform Japan's first artificial insemination of a killer whale within the next year and the father will be a male from the United States, though it does not state who. So far they have only mentioned Ran being artificially inseminated, though we wouldn't be surprised if they inseminated Lovey and/or Lara as well. That is only speculation though. Here's a link to the article.
12/12/15-Captive Russian Orcas has confirmed that there are at least three orcas currently being held at TINRO. There is a picture of all three at the link.
12/12/15-Unna is still undergoing intensive care at SeaWorld San Antonio. Vets have tried using different approaches to the fungal infection she has been battling and while it has helped, she has not recovered.
12/21/15-We are saddened to announce that Unna at SeaWorld San Antonio passed away today. She had been battling a strain of fungus known as Candida. Unna had been undergoing treatment over the past couple of months and her condition was up and down. Rest in peace Unna.
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