Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) is acting on reports that two wild orcas were captured in August in the Western Okhotsk Sea in Russia.
The orcas may have been captured by employees of the Sochi Dolphinarium – a facility on the northern coast of the Black Sea and sources suggest that one of the two orcas may have died or been released. The other orca, a female, has been transported to the city of Vladivostok on Russia’s Pacific coast and then on to a holding facility at the dolphinarium of the TINRO-center near Nakhodka, a port city about 50 miles east of Vladivostok.
We are unsure of what the planned final destination for the surviving orca is – her captors may intend to transport her to one of the marine parks in Sochi (the host city for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games) or supply a new facility opening up on Russiky Island near Vladivostock. She may even be sold to a facility overseas.
Marine parks profit greatly from displaying captive orcas and each year Russia issues live-capture permits for up to ten orcas to be taken from its waters. However, this is the first time in nearly 10 years that orcas have actually been taken from the wild. The last time this happened, in 2003, both orcas tragically died soon after capture.