These are news about captive orcas only (with a few exemptions). If you are interested in news about wild orcas, I suggest the fabulous Orca Network!June 13, 2014:
On Wednesday the U.S. Congress unanimously passed an amendment that will force the U.S. Department of Agriculture to update their rules that protect captive orcas and other marine mammals. Especially Lolita might benefit from this, since her tank at Miami Seaquarium is disgustingly inadequate. But the bill also increases the pressure on SeaWorld to reconsider their business model.
Source: The Dodo
June 11, 2014:
Voice of San Diego recently held a public roundtable about what SeaWorld and “Blackfish” mean for San Diego. It turned out to be very interesting and lively debate. Here are a couple links to a review and the complete event, which I highly recommend to watch:
USTREAM video of the debate
To comment on a specific question during the debate: Skyla was exactly 2 years and 4 days old when SeaWorld separated her from her mother Kalina. Also less then 3 years old at separation had been Katerina, Kayla, Keet and Kohana (more on that issue here).
June 11, 2014:
Here are a couple websites who provide further information about the captive killer whale situation in China and Russia, where a new facility is planned in St. Petersburg for 2017 (which is probably where some of the orcas at Nakhodka are supposed to go to):
behind the glass of aquarium (on Russia)May 20, 2014:
32-year-old male Bingo is reported to be in poor health, suffering from inflammation in lung and bronchia. According to Port of Nagoya Aquarium, first signs of illness were detected in December last year, with confirmation of fever in early April plus an inflammation-like shadow on the lung in early May. Bingo is also moving rather slow and can no longer participate in the public show. Doesn’t sound good for poor Bingo…
Source: The Chunichi Shimbun
May 7, 2014:
The Russian Orcas Project has received the official reply from Rosrybolovstvo (Russian Fisheries Agency) about orcas captured in 2013. The Russian authorities confirmed that 6 orcas were captured: five by “Sochinsky Delphinariy” LLC and one by “Belyi Kit” LLC (“White whale”). They did not specify the age and sex of the captured orcas, neither the dates they were captured.
Source: Russian Orcas
Note: the one whale caught by “Belyi Kit” LLC is presumably the young male that went to Moscow
April 23, 2014:
9-year-old girl Kalia is pregnant, apparently due around December 2014. Ulises is rumoured to be the father through artificial insemination (AI). This means that Kalia was merely eight years old when SeaWorld AI’d her. There were (or maybe still are) plans to transfer Kalia to SeaWorld Texas, which would separate her from her mother Kasatka. One can only hope that SeaWorld doesn’t proceed with such an insane move (which, despite their press releases, they have done an awful lot of). Kalia needs all the help she can get, being forced into pregnancy at such a young age…
Source: Digital Journal
Note: in the article it is made known for the first time that Takara at SeaWorld Texas had a miscarriage in March 2012 (she had been AI’d with Kshamenk’s semen in July 2011).
April 23, 2014:
SeaWorld treats some of its marine mammals with psychoactive drugs, according to a judicial document. Trainers give their orcas the psychoactive drug benzodiazepine, according to the sworn affidavit filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in a dispute between the park company and the rival company Marineland.
April 16, 2014:
SeaWorld has lost its appeal of safety citations issued by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.