“OMG…that must hurt…the underside of Nakai’s jaw has a gaping wound, one can almost see the ligaments or muscles of the tongue! It’s such a precise cut, it looks like it’s been done with a knife; it’s so precise! Hard to imagine another killer whale could do such a bite, as surely Nakai’s wound would be ragged around the edges with bits of skin dangling.! I have no idea how it happened, but it will take a long time to heal!!”
- Nakai, an 11-year-old performing whale suffered gash to the chin which left its jawbone exposed
- Park claims it happened when he hit the side of the pool
- However reports claim Nakai may have been in a fight with two other whales
- Peta accuse SeaWorld of housing killer whales together incompatibly, a violation of the Animal Welfare Act
A performing Killer Whale suffered a horrific injury which left its jawbone exposed at a SeaWorld theme park, prompting fury from animal rights groups.
Pictures showing Nakai, an 11-year-old whale who performs at the San Diego SeaWorld park, with a large gash to its chin were leaked online by a unnamed whistleblower.
In a statement, SeaWorld said Nakai’s injury was caused when it ‘came into contact with a portion of the pool environment’.
However online reports suggest the incident happened on September 20 when Nakai got into a fight with two other Killer Whales Ike and Keet.
They believe Nakai was either bitten by one of the other whales or smashed into the concrete pool wall.
Journalist Tim Zimmermann reported: ‘It happened last week during a night show, seemingly during a major altercation involving Nakai, Keet, and Ike.
‘It’s not clear if there was an aggressor or instigator, or if they all suddenly went after each other.
‘In response to the altercation, Nakai split to the back pool. The onstage trainers, not realizing how badly injured he was, continued the show with the other whales.
‘It was only when they called Nakai over later that night that they realised he was seriously hurt.’
Animal welfare group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has submitted a complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
They have accused SeaWorld of housing Killer Whales together incompatibly – a direct violation of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
A spokesman for the group said: ‘The AWA makes it clear that marine mammals that are not compatible must not be housed in the same enclosure.
‘Yet SeaWorld parks have a long history of housing incompatible orcas from widely divergent groups together in enclosures – and the result has been stress, agitation, aggressive and bloody raking, serious injury, and death.‘
In a statement, a spokesman for the park said: ‘There is no organisation in the world more committed to the physical, social and mental welfare of its animals than SeaWorld.’
In February 2010 trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by six-ton killer whale Tilikum, who is Nikai’s father, at SeaWorld’s Orlando park.
The six ton whale dragged the 40-year-old into the pool by her pony tail and then thrashed her while she was in the water, as horrified spectators looked on.
It’s was the third death Tilikum had been involved in.
In 1991 trainer Keltie Byrne died after slipping and falling into the tank with Tilikum and two other whales.
In 1999, a man sneaked past security at SeaWorld Orlando and was later found dead, his body draped over Tilikum.
Earlier this year Peta filed a lawsuit against San Diego SeaWorld claiming that the five killer whales at the are treated like slaves because they’re forced to live in tanks and perform daily.
The five whales were named as the plaintiffs in the case.
However a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit saying the 13th amendment – which outlaws slavery and involuntary servitude – applies only to humans.