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WDC provides supportive care to a live-stranded common dolphin. Credit: Andrea Spence/IFAW

Whale and Dolphin Conservation Expands Marine Mammal Stranding Network Territory

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation team expands the Greater Atlantic Regional Marine Mammal Stranding Network...
Hysazu Photography | Sara Shimazu

Dam Good News for Southern Resident orcas

Pardon the pun (we've used it before) but we just can't help ourselves.  After decades...
Peter Flood mom and calf

Emergency Petition Seeks to Shield Right Whale Moms, Calves From Vessel Strikes

For Immediate Release, November 1, 2022 WASHINGTON-Conservation groups filed an emergency rulemaking petition with the...
The Yushin Maru catcher ship of the Japanese whaling fleet injures a whale with its first harpoon attempt, and takes a further three harpoon shots before finally killing the badly injured fleeing whale. Finally they drowned the mammal beneath the harpooon deck of the ship to kill it.  Southern Ocean.  07.01.2006

Moves to overturn whaling ban rejected

Last week, the 68th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC, the body that regulates...

Another captive orca tragedy as Morgan’s calf Ula dies

Only five months after young orca Skyla died at Loro Parque in Spain, another orca lost her life here yesterday. Morgan's calf Ula died a few weeks before her 3rd birthday. In spring 2021 the park had announced that Ula was suffering from an intestinal condition. After an update in May stating that Ula was doing better, no further details were given until yesterday, when her death was announced. Ula was not the first calf to die at Loro Parque: in 2013 baby Vicky died at the age of only 10 months.

How ironic then that the day before Ula's death was announced, Loro Parque stated in a blog that "Modern zoological facilities have been taking care of cetaceans since several decades. All the scientific evidence shows that currently they have longer living expectancy under human care than in the wild, which probes that they receive adequate care and thrive in dolphinariums."

A young female orca in the wild may expect to live a long life in excess of 60 years. Loro Parque started keeping orcas in 2006, and since then has tragically lost three individuals aged 17 years, almost 3 years and 10 months old. Just five remain.

WDC will continue to work towards a phase-out of whale and dolphin captivity. An alternative to life in a concrete tanks would be ocean sanctuaries, where the intelligent and social marine mammals can live in a more natural environment and in some cases be prepared for a release back into the wild. Last year two captive beluga whales from China were brought to Iceland into the first sanctuary of its kind established by SeaLife Trust in cooperation with WDC.

Find out more about the fate of orcas in captivity

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