SeaWorld’s injured killer whale on the mend

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Nakai, the 11-year-old killer whale that sustained an injury to his lower jaw on Sept. 20, continues to recover extremely well, park officials said.

SAN DIEGO — Nakai, the killer whale that suffered a gaping injury to its jaw in September at SeaWorld San Diego, continues to recover, theme park officials said Tuesday.

Nakai is receiving antibiotics and gets laser treatment every other day to stimulate new tissue growth and prevent secondary infection, according to SeaWorld.

“Nakai’s wound is healing very well and we’re pleased with how the skin is contracting around the wound,” said Dr. Todd Schmitt, SeaWorld San Diego’s senior veterinarian in a statement. “It’s filling in 60 to 70 percent of the tissue already.”

According to SeaWorld, the 11-year-old orca was hurt during a Sept. 20 performance while it was interacting with other whales, and images that traveled about the Internet showed a gruesome open wound. Park officials said it appeared Nakai struck a portion of the pool area near a gate.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals contended that two other whales in the pool attacked Nakai, and filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture that SeaWorld violated rules by failing to keep incompatible marine mammals separated.

In response, SeaWorld San Diego said the well-being of animals at the park is “paramount” and stewardship is taken very seriously.

The park statement said that Nakai is interacting normally with trainers and other whales, but has not returned to performing in shows.



  • Dianne Arancibia

    There were whale teeth marks around the wound on Nakai. He was bitten by another whale not hurt on the side of the pool…more lies from Sea World. One good thing, Mitt Romney did not make it to President and he is one of the highest percentage owners of Sea World!

  • Virginia Greenwood

    Oh if Romney is part owner of Sea World it speaks volumes about his character!!! Whales should be free anyway but to be hurt like Nakai is totally unacceptable!!!!!

  • Florence Eaise

    If Sea World truly thought as they stated that the well-being of animals at the park is “paramount” and stewardship is taken very seriously, then they wouldnt first of all even have whales & dolphins kept alone they wouldnt have marinelife in captivity period they also wouldnt exploit animals the way they do its appalling! Furthermore had they truly thought the well being of their animals are "paramount" then why did it take peta and alot of other people to even make the treat the whale with the injury its all BS that whle didnt hit any poles it was bitten! This is very common in whales in captivity! BOYCOTT ALL AQUARIUMS ZOO"Z & CIRCUSES WITH ANIMALS

  • anonymous

    It sucks to say, but if it wasn’t for some of these animals being in captivity, majority of the population wouldn’t care about them in the wild either. Because people can get close and view these animals and how amazing they are, they take more interest in their well being in the wild as well. I don’t think it should be ok for parks to capture wild animals anymore, but with PETA and others saying to free the ones in captivity are idiotic. Look at how well it worked with Keiko. I was rooting for him the whole time, but when they live like that for so long, being free is not in their best interest. I do know that sea world could and should be better about separating the animals that don’t get along. I’ve witnessed numerous times them grazing each other with their teeth or pushing/nudging in a not playful manner. Without zoos and parks like sea world, the world wouldn’t care so much about any of those animals in the wild.

    • anonymous

      I couldn't agree more. Zoos and Seaparks are a necessary evil in that way. Now, don't get me wrong, I want the animals in captivity to live and be kept in the best and the healthiest conditions possible, but without the opportunity for the public to get close to orcas, tigers, gorillas, and all other types of wildlife for that matter, the public would have no desire to protect those animals in the wild. I also am completely against capturing wild animals and bringing them to zoos, but today most parks have fantastic captive breeding programs and the animals do no know any difference.

      • yup

        Captive breed animals still have thousands of years worth of instincts. It does not matter if you breed two tigers and got a cub that only knew captive life, it would still attack prey in an effort to eat. You can not undo thousands of years of mother nature just because a whale is breed in a pool. On top of that, Sea World does own animals that were born in the wild. Also, the public can charter a boat for a group of people and see wild killer whales for less money than it would cost for a family to go to Sea World for the day. Saying that the public would have no desire to protect them is an out dated excuse. Maybe forty years ago that was the case, but the things that have learned about killer whales and dolphins since the 1970's shows that they are not suited in any way shape or form for life in a bath tub. I wanted to train killer whales since I was four years old. When I was 17 I did a research paper on captive killer whales and completely changed my mind. It's barbaric and will one day be frowned upon by everyone.

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