Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Killer Whale washes up on Marin Beach, Californina

Wildlife officials are trying to determine the cause of death of a killer whale that washed ashore on a Point Reyes beach.
"It's pretty rare to see an orca washed up on shore around here," said Jim Oswald, spokesman for the Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands, which is investigating the death along with the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.
The orca was a male juvenile, about 18 feet long, that had washed up in an isolated area along Driftwood Beach, just north of McClure's Beach, late last week.
The team from the mammal center and academy went to the site Saturday and removed the orca's head and dorsal fin and took samples of its skin for study to determine a cause of death.
"The cause of death is still undetermined," said Andrew Ng, spokesman for the academy. "There were possible signs of trauma."
Whether that trauma was caused by another mammal or a ship strike was still to be determined, officials said. Tides were expected to carry the orca's carcass back out to sea.
The black-and-white mammals, which can grow up to 30 feet long and weigh as much as 12,000 pounds, are the largest species of the dolphin family and considered highly social and intelligent creatures.
They can live to age 50 and older, and travel in pods in which they are often related to one another. Killer whales prey on fish, but occasionally attack sharks, gray whales, seals, sea lions and blue whales.
"In the last five or six years we have seen orcas off the (Marin) Headlands," said John Dell'Osso, a spokesman for the Point Reyes National Seashore. "They may be following prey that are coming here."
Gray whales are now migrating from Alaska down to Mexico. It's possible the dead orca was making the same migration, he said.
"I do not ever remember an orca washing up on shore out here," said Dell'Osso, who has worked at the seashore for 27 years.


Dutch transfer killer whale Morgan to Spain

A plane carrying a young killer whale has departed the Netherlands Tuesday afternoon heading for a Spanish amusement park after conservationists lost a legal battle to have her released into the open sea.

Around dawn Tuesday, the 1,400-kilogram (3,085-pound) female orca named Morgan was lifted from her tank by a crane, resting in a hammock that restrained her movement and protected her fins. Trainers kept her wet during the transfer into a blue-painted box on a truck, and her breath stood out in plumes as she exhaled through her blowhole from time to time while hanging several meters (yards) aloft in the cool morning air.


Sunday, 13 November 2011

Ikaika the orca removed from Marineland

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. -- Ikaika is back home.

The killer whale, the one at the heart of a custody battle between Marineland and SeaWorld, was removed from the Niagara Falls amusement park Saturday night by a fleet of transport trucks, a crane and more than a dozen Niagara Regional Police escorts cars.

"Ikaika was moved from Marineland to SeaWorld San Diego overnight," confirmed Fred Jacobs, a spokesman for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, located in Orlando, Fla, via e-mail Sunday.

"We typically do transports of this type at night to avoid disruptions in local traffic and in our park operations. The transport went perfectly and (Ikaika) is in the water in San Diego now, swimming with the park's other whales."

Niagara police Staff Sgt. Pat McCauley confirmed Niagara police were hired on special duty to assist with the transfer of the whale.

SeaWord loaned Ikaika, an 1,815-kilogram orca, to Marineland in 2006 in exchange for four beluga whales. But last year, the Florida company started legal action to scrap the deal and have Ikaika returned.

In September, an Ontario Court of Appeal panel rejected Marineland's claim that the whale should stay in Niagara Falls.

The appeal court upheld a lower court decision that Ikaika belonged to SeaWorld. The Florida park had a termination clause built into its loan agreement with Marineland.

"This was not a guaranteed, long-term relationship," Justice Stephen Goudge wrote in a nine-page ruling. "The termination provision is clear and not commercially unreasonable."

A convoy of transport trucks and the fleet of Niagara police cars arrived at Marineland around 6 p.m., Saturday, said John (Ringo) Beam, a Niagara Falls businessman whose ice-making company sold about 520 pounds of ice to truck drivers from Empire Transportation, a Grimsby, Ont., specialty trucking company.

Beam said he sold 20 26-pound bags to the truckers around 5 p.m. Beam's curiosity was piqued when they wanted to meet at the McLeod Rd. Canadian Tire parking lot, showed up in a transport truck and said they needed the ice to cool something.

He figured it had something to do with either Marineland or Strabag, the company building a massive hydro tunnel under the city.

"That's the only thing out there," Beam said.

Beam suspected it had something to do with the Ikaika saga, so he followed them to Marineland's Stanley Ave. entrance.

The convoy went into Marineland from the Stanley Ave. service entrance. The trucking company and police spent about two hours inside the park. A crane and floodlights could be seen from Marineland Pkwy., on the park's north side.

Shortly after 8 p.m., the police escorts returned to the Stanley Ave., entrance and awaited the fleet of trucks, which included one truck with a blue tarp covering the cargo on its trailer. Another transport and a crane were part of the convoy.

"The move was conducted in the same way that all of these transports are," said Jacobs. "The whale is removed from the water in a sling by a crane, placed in a transport unit with water in it; the transport unit is trucked to the airport where its loaded on a cargo plane.

"The process is reversed on the other end. The animal is attended to by veterinarians and animal-care specialists throughout the process.

"Ike is in good health and has responded very well to the habitat at SeaWorld. It is a seven-million-gallon pool with six other whales."

Jacobs said the whale transfer was initiated by SeaWorld.

"As you are aware, Canadian courts have ruled in our favour several times, most recently this week. We are still in active litigation with Marineland in the U.S. and I'm unable to comment further on legal matters."

John Holer, founder and president of Marineland, couldn't be reached for comment Sunday.

Marineland and SeaWorld have been in court all year, fighting over custody of the whale, which was on loan from SeaWorld as part of Marineland's breeding program.

Marineland has one other killer whale, a female called Kiska.

SeaWorld has 19 whales in the United States, which is the world's largest collection of captive killer whales.


Thursday, 10 November 2011

Dolphin dies after Swiss techno party

A dolphin has died at a Swiss amusement park just weeks after conservationists warned that loud noises could cause extreme distress to the cetaceans at a dolphinarium in the eastern town of Lipperswil.

Shadow, an eight-year-old dolphin, died on Tuesday, 20 days after a huge techno party was held only 50 metres away from Connyland, the amusement park where the aquarium is located.

Conservationists say the animal’s immune system may have been damaged by loud music at the 16-hour party.

Vets at Connyland were surprised by the death of the mammal on Tuesday, since Shadow had performed his daily training room with enthusiasm that morning, park director Erich Brandenberger told reporters.

Soon though, the dolphin became agitated. Despite efforts from his trainer to calm him down, Shadow stopped breathing and his pulse disappeared. Connyland has requested that the authorities carry out an autopsy to establish the cause of death. The results should be “ready in three or four weeks”, cantonal vet Paul Witzig told newspaper 20 Minuten.

Two animal protection groups had previously warned authorities of the dangers of holding such a loud event so close to the dolphinarium. “

"We fear the dolphins will suffer from stress,” said ProWal and Delfinschutz Forum in a joint statement before the party.

But the Veterinary Office from canton Thurgau saw no reason to ban the party, arguing that the facility where it would take place was built in such a way that the noise from outside would not prove a disturbance. In a pre-party statement, the office said there was no proof that exposure to loud noises for a few hours would affect the well-being of the dolphins.

“This is the seventh dolphin to die in this amusement park in only three years,” said animal welfare organisations Oceancare and Swiss Protection for Animals. According to them, the living conditions for dolphins at Connyland are “unacceptable.”

“It is unacceptable for the well-being of animals to be sacrificed in favour of profits with the blessing of the authorities,” said Sigrid Lüber, president of OceanCare.

In 2010, the organisation pressed charges against Connyland for an alleged serious violation of the Animal Protection Act. That case is still pending


Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Dolphins 'Louis' pregnancy

Bottlenose dolphins are participating in the show "Louis"授Kari new life, currently pregnant.
His father, a bottlenose dolphin born in captivity IV Hotel in 2004, "Athens" and the baby is born, and I awaited five captivity.
Due date is late August 2012. Currently, easy-to is the world's only dolphin has four heads and IV breeding captive, first in the world, when we celebrated the life connecting the next generation and more. Interest with us, warm eyes, "Louis," I hope you'll watch over. "Louis" is currently participating in the show now, with this pregnancy, let meいただきますpostponed from November to participate in the show. Therefore, the dolphin show " Feria U.S. dollars "Harmony" , "(held on Tuesdays & Holidays Sat), Oct 30 (Sun) have now to help us while suspending performance. Sun is yet resumed. During the relief efforts to the new practice of dolphins, also on a restart, so meet the expectations of everybody, we're trying to. Your understanding, thank you. In addition, the new Dolphin Sea Lion Show " / Kizuna Kizuna ", we held daily as before. Please continue to enjoy.