First of all, let me apologise for not writing in this blog as often as I used to.
I will therefore try to do an article that sums up most of the latest news:

Alright, so since the beginning of the year:
The albino dolphin, Angel is still being held captive at Taiji Museum. Angel is the first dolphin to spark a lawsuit for dolphins against the government of Taiji. On Angel’s side will be
Ric O’Barry’s organizations (Dolphin Project and Save Japan Dolphins) as well as Australian for Dolphins. They are aiming at rehabilitating Angel and bringing an end to the inhumane annual hunts of Taiji.

Also, according to the French Marineland Facebook page, the baby orca born on December the 10th 2013 has been named Keijo (quite similar to Keiko if you ask me…)
Pictures actually show that the baby is already participating in daily shows (copyrights prevent me from sharing the pictures here on my blog but you can type ‘Keijo Marineland” on Google to find out more.)
Who’s the father? Valentin, his uncle. Well done Marineland ! They should be ashamed…

Talking about birth, another orca is pregnant. Kalia (SW San Diego) She is due in December and Ulises is the father by artificial insemination. (Note that Ulises’s sperm was also used for our French captive orcas for the birth of Moana in March 16th 2011). It would mean Kalia was impregnanted at only 8 years old while scientific studies show that female orcas start reproducing at 14.9 years old.
It’s all about the money $$$

I shall end this article on a rather positive note. Last April, I realized my long life dream: an encounter with wild orcas at Vancouver Island, BC.
Words cannot describe such an experience. Everybody kept telling us it was not the right time of the year to see orcas, but I guess dreaming about it for 20 years did the trick! We met 3 different pods. What a privilege to see them in their natural environnement and habitat, hear them breathe (which made me lose my breath!)
The little ones were more curious. We didn’t see any spyhopping  but the little ones would occasionnaly surface to observe us. Males’ dorsal fins were breathtaking.
It still gives me butterfly and tears in my eyes because I have had the unbelievable luck to live my dream.
My sister and I went with Aboriginal Journeys which I highly recommend if you ever go on Vancouver Island. Garry, the owner, is the man behind this picture:

We also spent a few days in the city and came close to the Vancouver aquarium. Turns out protests about the aquarium are actually to date! Indeed, the public and city officials are gearing up to debate whether the Vancouver aquarium should begin phasing out holding cetaceans in captivity.
Next July, the debate will start and a decision shall be taken before next November. Time will tell…

Sources :

SeaWorld’s God Complex? Dangerous Breeding Practices
Should the Vancouver Aquarium phase out whales and dolphins in captivity?

Mass capture in Taiji

On January 17th, 4 pods of dolphins were captured by Taiji fishermen. That’s about 250 dolphins including a baby albino.

The following day, 25 dolphins were selected to a life of captivity (including the baby albino named Angel by Ric O’Barry)


Today January 19th, 15 more dolphins were taken captive and we learn that Angel was taken straight to Taiji Whale Museum. That’s 40 dolphins in two days…
The remaining 200 await their fate until tomorrow morning.

CNN even covered the whole story. Baby steps.

Are there still among you people who still refuse to see the greed of fishermen and trainers (because yes, they work hand in hand)?

Are there still among you people who deny the truth about marine parks, amusement parks, and zoos?

Have you seen Blackfish? Did you feel appalled by the whole orca captivity business? Well, what happens in Taiji Japan is how dolphins are captured and later sold to parks AROUND THE WORLD.


For related articles:
What happens in Taiji 
Taiji 01/18/2013 
The movie The Cove 
10 good reasons not to go to a dolphinarium
Cove Guardian 
To sum up

-> What you can do <-

Pictures from Facebook Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians 

Birth at Marineland – France



Yesterday, Tuesday 10th of December, Marineland (France) finally made an official announcement of a new orca calf. (Let’s remind ourselves that the baby was born on November the 20th).

The mother, Wikie, has already given birth to a male orca, Moana, in March 2011, via AI, thanks to Ulises’ sperm (a male orca from the group SeaWorld – where a trainer was recently killed by an orca attack).
At first, the staff thought Moana was a female, hence the name. We understand why they are taking their time now!

According to this white paper written by Dr Naomi Rose, wild orcas reach sexual maturity at approximately 14, and females give birth approximately every 5 years.

In comparison, Wikie had her first calf at 10, and her second calf only 32 months later.

As said in their announcement, we do not know the father’s identity. Nevertheless, rumors tend to say that Valentin is the father. But, the two estimated parents are related. ALL ORCAS AT MARINELAND ARE RELATED. We can only hope there will be no repercussions on the calf. We do not want the baby to know the same fate as little baby Vicky in last June...


To sum up

It’s been a while since I last wrote a post in this blog. A recent publication in Freedom for Whales’ Instagram account prompted me to share it, so here it goes:

” What a lot of people don’t realize about cetacean captivity is that once the show is over, you get to leave. You get to go explore the rest of the oceanarium, you get to leave and decide what you’d like for dinner. You get to go see your family, meet up with your friends, or even go meet new people. You get to travel and go see other places of the world. You get to decide what you want to do in your free time, like shopping, taking a nap, riding your bike, whatever. You get to live your life, and where are these dolphins and whales that you saw in a show a few years ago? If they haven’t died off from the stresses of being in captivity, they’re still there. In that same small, blue, concrete, featureless tank, swimming the same cramped circles. They’re still being fed the same dead fish, they’re still performing the same monotonous tricks. Life doesn’t change for them, they live the same stressful and boring life until they die. How do people support something like that? “

“The snake [in a museum] is given more consideration than the dolphins. […] It has trees to climb on, grass, rocks […]. Look at the habitat of captive dolphins: it’s a bare, concrete box.” – Ric O’Barry

A pregnant orca at Marineland, France?

From the looks of recent photos, Wikie,the youngest female at Marineland France is pregnant-again.

Why is this concerning?

  1. Her baby, Moana, is merely 2 years old. He still needs almost constant attention from his mother at such a young age, and now that she will soon have another baby, he will not receive all the vital attention he needs.
  2. Wikie is 11 years old. She has not reached the age in which wild orca females begin breeding, yet she is already having her second baby. A child herself, you can only imagine what kind of situation this is for her.
  3. The father is unknown. If this baby was conceived naturally, then it will be inbred, considering she is related to all of the males at MLF (see chart). If it is through AI, it could be also Kshamenk’s sperm, showing Marineland France also has a disregard for orca welfare, or it could be from Seaworld, the other likely sperm donor.
    This shows once again their lack of consideration for the orcas by allowing such a young female to be impregnated when she already has a baby to look out for.

It is rumored that Wikie is around 11 months pregnant (gestation period of female orcas is usually between 15 to 18 months).

No official announcement has been done yet.

Sources: Freedom For Whales, Facebook.


Since the creation of this blog, I’ve focused on sharing international facts about captivity. I’ve tried to write about every important subject (captures, Taiji, breeding programmes, trial, etc.)

But, I wanted to create this blog to study more seriously the French marine parks. The recent death of the dolphin named Ecume (in English, Sea Foam) at Marineland, Antibes, seemed to me the perfect occasion to get going on that subject. [Foam died on February 26th, after 28 years at Marineland. She was part of the group of dolphins featuring in the Luc Besson movie Le Grand Bleu]
In January, I worked on the French translation of Ric O’Barry’s guide to dolphin activism.
Now that I have written about the basics of cetaceans captivity, I thought it was about time to do more, like the guide suggested.
I thought it was about time to make my own research and do my own investigations. Continue reading “Updates”

Free Morgan

The last orca who needs rescuing is, of course, Morgan. I have mentioned her story in my very first article, so click ->here<- if you want to read it.

Morgan is a lone female orca who was rescued in the Wadden Sea, off to the northwest coast of the Netherlands in June 2010. She was found in very poor health (weighing approximately 950 pounds and likely being dehydrated – she was 11.5 feet long) and was therefore rescued and administrated medical assistance in a dolphinarium’s tank in Holland. When her health condition improved, she was not sent back to her natural environment, like supposed to. Instead, she was moved to Loro Parque, in Spain in November 2011. Since then, she is forced to perform in orca shows with other orcas (5 in total) who bully and attack her. She has many rake marks and scars on her body. On the Free Morgan Foundation website, it is actually said these orcas are dysfunctional because they show “serious social and behavioural issues” (they have already attacked their trainers, and the orca male Keto even killed one trainer in 2009). When she is not performing, she is chewing on the concrete walls of her tank due to stress and boredom.

It has been said that Morgan was sent to Loro Parque as this was “in her best interest”, this is not true. Morgan was sent to Loro Parque due to loopholes in laws. There was, and still is a solid, well organized rehab and release plan for Morgan by some of the world’s top orca experts (including Dr Ingrid Visser). We know where her family is and there is no reason why she would not be accepted into this pod especially as she is a young female.

What you can do to help:
Click here to follow what the Free Morgan Foundation advises you to do. You’ll see the links to the official petition, the Facebook and Twitter accounts, and all the other ways you can raise awareness around you or donate to support the foundation.

How old do captive orcas live?

A week ago, I was telling you about the birth of Kasatka’s calf

In the cetacean world, there are two groups: pro-caps and anti-caps. The first ones are those in favour of captivity, whereas the other ones are against this industry of enslavement.
Pro-caps claim that captive orcas have the same average life expectancy than those living in the wild. (Be careful not to mix “average life expectancy” with “maximum life span”).

How long do captive orcas live? How long do orcas born in captivity live?
Many dug this matter before me, and it was about time that I mentioned it on my blog with statistics. There is a saying that goes: “What is good in Sciences, is that whether you believe in it or not, it is still true”.

Numbers as of October 15, 2010 state that of the 197 killer whales in captivity since 1964, almost 2/3 didn’t make it past 10 years in captivity. Less than 30 orcas survived more than 20 years in captivity.

Credit for the picture:

Here’s a look of how the death rate got developed amongst orcas in captivity since the first captures. Interestingly, there doesn’t seem to be much improvement since the mid 70’s.

Researchers in cetology have determined an average life expectancy for wild killer of about 30 years for males and 50 years for females.
Despite these widely known facts, marine parks officials still declare publicly that orcas don’t live much longer than 20 years.

In fact, it all comes down to ask ourselves “in which group do we position ourselves?”
It’s simple:

Pro-caps Anti-caps
-Dolphinariums or marine parks’ owners
-Visitors of marine parks or dolphinariums
-PhDs in Marine Biology

So? Have you chosen yet?

Sources :

Free Lolita

Let me present you the third orca who needs us to help her :

Lolita is a female orca who was brutally captured from her family pod near Seattle in August 1970. Five whales drowned during the assault and seven young calves were caught for aquariums. For the past 40 years, she has lived in a tiny tank at Miami Seaquarium which violates USDA/APHIS standards. Indeed, it is no larger than a hotel swimming pool. It is 35 ft by 80 ft long. In the center, it is 20 ft deep and around the edges just 12 feet deep. Keep in mind that Lolita is 22 feet long and over 7,000 lbs (and that orcas swim up to 100 miles a day, at up to 35 miles an hour). USDA/APHIS defines the average length of an adult orca as 24 feet, based on which they require a pool with a minimum horizontal dimensions of twice the length (or 48 ft) and a minimum depth of 12 feet. Continue reading “Free Lolita”