It has been a sad month for us here, upon learning about the capture of two killer whales in Russia this past August. The first one was likely killed, and only one young adult female remains.
Killer whales are one of the most socially complex animals on the planet. They are very family-orientated; some even stay with their mother for their entire lives. Captures that break up these families are completely unjustifiable in today’s society, where several breeding populations of orcas already reside in human care.
The status of Russia’s wild orca population is unknown, but said to be at risk. While it was thought she would be sold abroad, it is now speculated that this orca has been sold to a new aquarium opening within Russia, a country who has no experience with captive orcas.
There seems to be little awareness of this occurrence; most people are under the impression that cetacean captures no longer happen. Unfortunately, this is not the case (a group of beluga whales were recently captured as well, to be imported to parks across the States). We have received several questions regarding Nakai’s injury at SeaWorld, and have even been sent a link to his feature on American news channels. Where is the media for this lone orca? Her capture is completely contradictory to the idea of conservation that aquariums are meant to promote, and it may also be a way of easing large, accredited aquariums into the wild orca industry once again.
We do not wish to start a debate by posting, and there should be no debate regarding this to begin with. We are intending to share what few others are sharing. And we no longer want to be alone in voicing our concern for this orca.
Please follow Russian Orcas for more updates.