orca

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Wily Orcas Are Tormenting Alaska Fishermen

Whales are stealing thousands of pounds of their fish from boats

(Newser) - They're like pirates of sorts, but very, very large ones. Alaskan fishermen say they’re increasingly missing out on scores of fish they rely on to make a living because killer whales are making off with their catch. A few years ago, orca sightings in the Bering Sea were... More »

Washing Ashore in South Africa: Great Whites With No Livers

Researchers think orcas are killing them

(Newser) - Over four days in early May, three dead great white sharks washed ashore in South Africa—with their livers missing. Researchers with the Dyer Island Conservation Trust did necropsies and came to the conclusion that, based on the sharks' injuries, orcas likely killed them and ate their livers, the researchers... More »

'Unprecedented' Orca Hunting Frenzy Caught on Film

In just seven days, the orcas have killed four whales in Monterey, California

(Newser) - A pod of killer whales off the coast of Monterey, California, has intrigued biologists by going on a frenzied hunting spree that’s killed four gray whales in just seven days. Nancy Black, a local marine biologist and co-owner of Monterey Bay Whale Watch, caught the latest attack on camera... More »

Last Orca Born at SeaWorld Park

Mother was pregnant before breeding ban

(Newser) - Officials at SeaWorld say the last killer whale has been born in captivity at one of its parks—in San Antonio. The orca's birth Wednesday afternoon comes in the wake of a 2016 decision by the Florida-based company to stop breeding killer whales. SeaWorld didn't immediately name the... More »

SeaWorld San Diego Ending Shamu Shows Today

But 'Orca Encounter' shows don't sound all that different

(Newser) - SeaWorld San Diego is ending its long-running killer whale show after years of outcry and falling attendance prompted it to renounce theatrical orca displays and its breeding program, the AP reports. The show that featured killer whales cavorting with trainers and leaping high out of the Shamu Stadium pool will... More »

Blackfish's Tilikum Dies at SeaWorld

36-year-old orca was battling a lung infection

(Newser) - The orca who inspired the documentary Blackfish died Friday at SeaWorld, his home for more than 20 years, reports USA Today . A planned necropsy will give an official cause of death, though Tilikum had been suffering from a bacterial lung infection for some time. SeaWorld says that at an estimated... More »

Scientists Might've Accidentally Killed an Endangered Orca

Tracking dart possibly led to fungal infection

(Newser) - Scientists hoping to protect endangered orcas might have inadvertently killed one instead. A killer whale tagged by NOAA researchers in Washington state in February turned up dead in British Columbia five weeks later, reports the CBC . On Wednesday, US researchers released a report suggesting the 20-year-old whale, known as L95,... More »

Clever Seal Goes to Desperate Lengths to Dodge Killer Whales

'Most intense epic experience ever': boat owner

(Newser) - Seals are cute, curious, and apparently quite resourceful when they're trying to avoid becoming someone's dinner, per a story out of British Columbia. The CBC reports on the adventures of a survival-minded seal who, desperately trying to escape the clutches of the ravenous orcas pursuing it, hopped aboard... More »

Whale as Old as the Titanic Spotted in the Pacific

'Granny' spotted leaping near the coast of Washington

(Newser) - Whale watchers off the coast of Washington saw a welcome sight last week—a killer whale nicknamed "Granny" who is believed to be an astonishing 105 years old, reports the San Francisco Chronicle . Granny's more formal name among scientists who have studied her for decades is J2, and... More »

SeaWorld Ending Orca Shows, Breeding

Whales now in captivity will be 'the last generation'

(Newser) - Months after the California Coastal Commission imposed a breeding ban on its San Diego park, SeaWorld says it will end its orca breeding program for good. Breeding will end at all three US parks this year, meaning the killer whales now in captivity will be "the last generation,"... More »

SeaWorld: Blackfish Whale Has Potentially Deadly Illness

Tilikum, who's killed 3 people, has a lung infection

(Newser) - Tilikum, the killer whale at the heart of the SeaWorld-damning documentary Blackfish, has a lung infection that could possibly kill him, the Orlando Sentinel reports. SeaWorld announced the 35-year-old whale's illness Tuesday. "I wish I could say I was tremendously optimistic about Tilikum and his future, but he... More »

Here's Why Europe's Killer Whales Could Go Extinct

Study finds high levels of contamination from PCBs

(Newser) - Decades after they were banned, chemicals known as PCBs continue to pose a threat to marine mammals in the waters off Europe. The situation is especially dire for killer whales, the Christian Science Monitor reports. "We think there is a very high extinction risk for killer whales as a... More »

SeaWorld Ending Orca Shows at San Diego Park

Next year will be the final year

(Newser) - Big news from SeaWorld: CEO Joel Manby announced Monday that next year will be the final year featuring killer whale shows at the San Diego park. Starting in 2017, a "new orca experience" with a "strong conservation message" will debut, he said, per CNN . As the AP puts... More »

This Photo Just Made Scientists' Entire Week

6th orca calf born since December spotted off San Juan Island

(Newser) - Scientists are celebrating after a days-old orca calf was spotted off the west coast of Washington state's San Juan Island on Saturday. The calf was born into one of three pods of Southern Resident orca whales, known as "J Pod," which happens to have the best record... More »

SeaWorld Gets Blessing to Expand Orca Tanks

Activists outraged at government's recommendation

(Newser) - The government recommends allowing SeaWorld to expand the killer whale facility at its San Diego park, outraging environmentalists who say the tanks could be used to breed more orcas to be kept in captivity. The staff of the California Coastal Commission made the recommendations today ahead of the regulatory board'... More »

Blackfish Continues to Hit SeaWorld Where It Hurts

Q2 profits plunged 84%

(Newser) - Animal-rights activists celebrated a victory yesterday after SeaWorld announced an 84% drop in profits in the wake of continued controversy over its treatment of captive orcas. The Guardian reports SeaWorld's second-quarter income plummeted from $37.4 million to $5.8 million year-over-year. The company, which operates 11 theme and... More »

Rescuers Keep Beached Orca Alive Until Tide Comes In

It took 8 hours

(Newser) - A dramatic whale rescue unfolded in British Columbia this week, as rescuers kept alive a stranded orca for eight hours until high tide returned. The female whale likely got stranded on rocks off the coast while chasing a seal, reports the Globe and Mail . Rescuers kept gawkers to a minimum... More »

Oregon's Fake Orca Goes Belly-Up

Solution to Astoria's sea-lion problem doesn't go as planned

(Newser) - An effort to use a fake, life-sized orca to scare off hundreds of sea lions crowding docks off the Oregon coast ended, at least temporarily, with the fiberglass creature belly-up after it was swamped by a passing ship. Still, Jim Knight of the Port of Astoria says the sea lions... More »

Grandma Sues SeaWorld Over Killer Whales

Joyce Kuhl sues for at least $2B over treatment of orcas

(Newser) - A South Carolina grandmother is suing SeaWorld in Florida for at least $2 billion over its alleged mistreatment of killer whales—the latest salvo in a series of attacks against the entertainment company, the Orlando Sentinel reports via the Guardian . In the new class-action suit, Joyce Kuhl is demanding her... More »

Why Killer Whales Live So Long After Menopause

Study: These matriarchs become essential group leaders

(Newser) - Female orcas typically stop breeding around the age of 40, which is roughly the time when their male counterparts tend to, well, die off. But once the females hit menopause, they can rather unusually live another 50 or so years—and now scientists think they know why. Because they've... More »

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