Marineland-Antibes

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Captured juvenile orca too traumatized to swim (x)

What you see here is footage of a juvenile orca who was just captured from the wild. The orca is so traumatized and disorientated that it can’t even swim, it just rolls over onto it’s side. 

This is how marine parks gets their orcas. This is what you support when you support marine parks.

“But it doesn’t happen anymore!”

Yes, it does. It’s currently happening in Russia. The Russians have seen how orcas can make them millions of dollars by watching corporations such as Seaworld and now they want in on the action it too. 
Not to mention that most marine parks which holds orcas still have wild caught orcas in their possesion. Wild caught orcas who all went through what you see in the gifs above.

As long as there is a demand to see these animals in captivity they will continue to be caught. So stop creating a demand by going to these parks. 

As some of you know, I’ve been putting together a website, and the story of Freya’s health issues that she suffered in the 80′s was written on her bio page, but I thought I’d share it now as the deceased orca pages are much smaller and less detailed, so I’m not sure if all this info will fit on there in its entirety, so here it is…..

In 1986, a routine monthly blood test showed an anomaly with Freya’s white blood cells. Another blood test three days later indicated that Freya had the beginnings of an infection somewhere in her body. She was immediately put on a course of Amoxycillin antibiotics, but these had no affect, so the vets tried other antibiotics Caphalxin, Bacampicllin, Lincomycin and Doxycycline all of which proved ineffectual at treating the whale’s rapidly worsening infection. Freya began to appear listless and would only pick at her food. Over the next few weeks, her appetite dropped to almost nothing and she developed ‘peanut head’, a dip behind the blow-hole that is an indication blubber is being drawn away from that area due to starvation.

Freya’s condition was reminiscent of other captive whales that had died of chest abscess, so Marineland’s vet, David Taylor, suspected an infection in her chest or lungs. At the time, portable x-ray machines were not powerful enough to penetrate a whales thick blubber, so the Director of the park at the time, Michael Riddell, persuaded an aircraft company to lend them a new x-ray machine used to find faults in airplane engines. The machine, powerful enough to find a hairline fracture in a block of steel, proved useless and nothing could be seen on the images it produced. However, a week later, Freya developed a radiation burn, an inflamed circular patch of skin appeared on her right side where the powerful x-ray machine had been focused. The damaged patch of skin later fall out and formed an ulcer which took over three years to heal, although the white patch on her side remains to this day.

Freya stopped eating completely, lost even more weight and started to go into kidney failure and she was sequestered to the medical tank.
The Director got in touch with an electronics company that helped the French Navy develop their Sonar technology and they agreed to bring one of their portable sonar machines to the park to test out on the whale a week later. In the interim period, Freya was fortified with vitamin injections and hormone supplements.

A week later and with Freya looking “worse than ever”, the medical pool was emptied of water and the sonar machine set up. During the probe, Freya seemed uncomfortable and annoyed, “quite probably she could hear the irritating whine of the machine in a way that we could not.” She may have been able to feel the vibrations too, but the scan was a success and the inside of the whale could be seen. Freya had a raging infection and lesions between her ribs and on the outside of the right lung, and she had “chronic pleurisy.”

Freya was immediately put on a course of Erythromycin (a drug commonly used to treat legionnaires disease), and Cortistone injections. Over the next two weeks Freya’s appetite began to improve and “she started to swim around the hospital pool instead of hanging forlornly in one corner.” The sonar test was repeated which showed the lesions were starting to break up. In time Freya was allowed back into the main pool and rejoin in some shows.

David Taylor said “we continue to check the killer whale regularly and I still don’t consider her to be be absolutely one hundred percent normal, the healed scars in her chest cavity probably niggling her from time to time.”

Sources,

Vet on the Wild Side, by David Taylor

Confirmed by ex trainer at Marineland who worked with Freya (not Hargrove). Private conversation.

Photo of Freya having one of the x-rays is by Marineland Antibes (David Taylor is the man on the left in the grey)

Freya with baby Valentin

Very sad to read of Freya’s unexpected death this morning, and as I normally do I decided to paint something. Freya was about 34 and her cause of death is not yet released, Valentin was her only live calf (Freya had 5 calves, but 4 were stillborn) and my thoughts are with him right now as males tend to do poorly when their mothers die. 

Swim in peace Freya

“When Val [at Marineland Antibes] was becoming sexually mature, we gave him an antipsychotic drug to drastically decrease his testosterone level. I would swim with him in the water and he would be so looped up. We would have no idea what’s going on in his mind because he’s so out of it.”- Source

Here’s a visual representation of all the orca tanks in the world. The last four got cut off, but they are (from left to right) Port of Nagoya Aquarium, Kamogawa SeaWorld, Miami Seaquarium, and Mundo Marino.
It really puts the living conditions of the orcas living in captivity into perspective. Not even the largest tank (at Marineland Antibes) can fully allow an orca to live its life the way it was intended to.

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I actually did not know about this attack by Freya in Marineland Antibes. I’m probably way out of the loop, but I actually didn’t know there were any attacks at Marineland. Shocking, though. Figured they were a lot more “well rounded” what with the size of their habitat. But I guess that goes to show that even the largest whale tank in the world not enough for an animal like an Orca.

Does anyone know what exactly triggered this attack?

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so i saw that video going around of wikie pushing keijo onto the slide out and people were wondering why she was doing that.

well, i think this is the reason.

these are photos of sharkan, wikie’s mother, pushing wikie up onto the slide out when she was a calf. i think wikie is only doing what her mother did. after all, female orcas learn how to take care of calves by watching their own mothers or other females. i bet this is just what she thinks she’s supposed to do as a mom.

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Gender: Male
Pod: N/A
Place of Capture: Stokkseyri, Iceland
Date of Capture: October 1982
Age at Capture: Approx. less than 1 year

In October 1982, a total of five Orcas were captured off the coast of Iceland and immediately transferred to the Hafnarfjordur Aquarium where they would await purchase.

In March 1983, a male and female - named Kim II and Freya - were sold to Marineland Antibes in France. Here, they met the resident female named Betty, and the 3 whales seemed to get along well. Soon enough, they were trained and performing in shows alongside each other until Betty’s death in 1987.

Marineland was already in the market for new whales. However, Iceland was in the process of discussing whether to ban wild captures. In 1989, four Orcas were captured at the same time as the law was brought in. While two of the whales had already been sold to Kamogawa Sea World, the remaining two whales were sold to Marineland Antibes.

Sharkan and Tanouk arrived at the park on January 20, 1990 and while Freya got along well with both of them, Kim II and Tanouk did not get along and were separated as a result.

In March 1991, Freya gave birth to Kim II’s first calf, though unfortunately it was a stillborn. Kim II was also proven to sire calves, while Tanouk had not sired any, and it was decided that Tanouk would be sold in 1995.

Both Freya and Sharkan gave birth around the same time in 1993 to calves both sired by Kim II. Unfortunately, Freya gave birth to her second stillborn calf while Sharkan gave birth to a healthy female calf named Shouka.

Kim II and Shouka met soon after and when she got older, the two often performed together. Kim II formed a strong bond with his daughter, but when Shouka reached sexual maturity, she was moved to the States. This resulted in Kim II becoming less active, and putting on a lot of weight.

Throughout the years, Sharkan and Freya continued to mate with Kim II and produce more calves. Freya’s only living offspring is a male named Valentin, while Sharkan gave birth to both Inouk and Wikie - all of which still reside at Marineland today. However, Kim II never developed a bond as strong as the one he had with Shouka.

Finally, on November 23, 2005, Kim II died due to Pneumonia after more than 23 years in captivity.

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“No matter how big the tank looks to us, to the human audience, it’s a kennel to this animal because what it’s used to, what an orca male and an orca female is used to out there in the wild, is the ocean. So, any tank is too small.”
-Naomi Rose, PhD
HSUS

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Gender: Female
Pod: N/A
Place of Capture: Stokkseyri, Iceland
Date of Capture: October 1982
Age at Capture: Approx. 1 year

Sometime in October 1982, a group of five whales were captured off the coast of Stokkseyri, Iceland. They were immediately transferred to the Hafnarfjordur Aquarium where they were trained and put up for sale.

By March of 1983, a young female, later known as Freya, was purchased by Marineland Antibes in France, along with Kim II - a male she had been captured with. When they arrived at the park, they met Betty, the resident female who displaced Freya and showed dominance over her. However, they soon began to get along until Betty’s death in 1987, resulting in Freya becoming the dominant whale at the park.

In 1986,  Freya had Pleurisy (inflammation of the tissues that line the lungs and chest cavity). While having x-rays taken, she suffered a radiation burn that took 3 years to heal and left a permanent, circular white scar.

Marineland soon purchased two new whales named Sharkan and Tanouk in 1990. Freya was pregnant by Kim II before they arrived, but in 1991, Freya delivered a stillborn. She had another stillborn in 1993, and was put on medication due to possible depression caused by the loss of her calves. The same year, Sharkan gave birth to a female calf named Shouka.

In February of 1996, Freya gave birth to her first and only live calf, a male named Valentin whom she was very close with. Freya went on to have two more stillbirths - one in 2001 and another in 2003.

Afterwards, she was placed on birth control and kept on medication for her depression. She was later taken off birth control in hopes of being artificially inseminated, but she never became pregnant.

While Freya lived a life in captivity mostly without incident, she was involved in an incident with one trainer in 2008, in which she repeatedly attempted to submerge him underwater and pushed him around the tank. At one point in a video taken by a park guest, the trainer can be seen with his hands in Freya’s mouth, though he was able to exit the tank without any serious injuries.

On June 20, 2015, Freya died suddenly, though the cause of her death is currently unknown. Freya was the matriarch at Marineland Antibes, so it is unclear exactly how her son, Valentin, is doing or how the social structure might change.

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