TWEETSTORM! Kshamenk, The Forgotten Orca Has Been Cancelled.

By Kirsten Massebeau

Tweetstorm Cancellation

Tweetstorm Cancellation

With the death of Dawn Branchau and the ensuing OSHA trials, first the publication of
“Death at Seaworld,” and then most recently the release of the documentary “Blackfish” Tillikum the captive bull orca has become famous. His life from a violent capture, years of mistreatment, to Dawn’s death, brought to light how terribly this highly intelligent bull orca had suffered in captivity, turning him into a psychotic killer. Orcas are the most social animals on the planet and have emotional centers in their brains larger than man’s. Male orca stay with their mothers for a lifetime swimming hundreds of miles, in tight-knit family units.

Thanks for your interest in Kshamenk and support.

Thanks for your interest in Kshamenk and support.

Thanks to “Blackfish” the public lens is now focusing on orcas, known as killer whales. While Tillikum has been in the public eye for quite some time another bull orca has not. Kshamenk, often called the forgotten orca has a heartbreaking story of sadness and betrayal. “On September 19, 1992, Kshamenk was a young 4-5 year old orca “captured” off the coast of Argentina. Officially he was found stranded, but it is believed he was forced to strand by the Mundo Marino staff“(source). Today he performs several times a day, seven days a week in small pools, with two dolphins at the Marine Park “Mundo Marino” in Argentina. In addition, he is used as a sperm donar for SeaWorld.

Despite all these factors at this time new information has come to light leading us to believe that at the present time a tweetstorm is not the most effective way forward for Kshamenk. For this reason we need to cancel this event but thank you all for your wonderful support!

Gabriela Bellazzi Wild Earth Foundation (WEF)

“I don’t think it is a good idea to keep putting pressure on Mundo Marino re: Kshamenk. We are already talking with the oceanarium directives to analyze how his life quality can be improved as the whale is not releasable (like I told you before) for various reasons. Kshamenk was collected when he was a 5 years old juvenile and has spent most of his life (21 years) in the same captive setting. He has become highly socialized with humans and is dependent on human interaction. Kshamenk has not had contact with any other orca since his female companion “Belen” died in February 2000. He formed a close bond with a female bottlenose dolphin (Floppy) shortly after Belen’s death, and the two have been held in the same pool ever since. They continue to be strongly associated, and according to the staff at Mundo Marino are never separated. After the 2006 health and behavior assessment, it was recommended by the experts that whatever decision is made concerning the future of the whale, “serious consideration should be given to moving his present pool companion Floppy, with him”. Basing on the assessment performed in 2006, his chance of surviving in the wild is poor. If Kshamenk is reintroduced into the wild, he may revert to a previous pattern of behaviour that may put him in danger such as begging for food or seeking human contact (resulting in, for example, Kshamenk being shot by fishermen or fed fish with hooks inside). We all agree that Kshamenk should be in a sea pen in the ocean and not inside a concrete pool. Holding Kshamenk in a sea pen would provide him with a larger and more complex environment and would allow him to engage in a variety of natural activities. As part of a legal process that started in 2002 in Argentina under the regulatory authority “Secretaria de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sustentable de la Nacion”, Wild Earth Foundation (WEF), Earth Island Institute (EII) and Free Willy Keiko Foundation (FWKF) assessed various locations along the Argentine coast as options for rehabilitation/retirement sites including the Caleta Valdés, which we found unsuitable because the dynamics of the cove and strong currents cannot provide the proper maintenance of a sea pen. EII, FWKF and WEF concluded that Kshamenk family was unknown, his home range was only presumed to extend from the area of capture and it was established that there was no data of any type regarding the orca found along the Mar del Tuyú coastline. In the recommendations that we submitted to the Argentine Government we considered that a transfer to semi-freedom ideally should be attempted near the stranding/capture point and that the project should involve the oceanarium staff who are familiar with Kshamenk. Unfortunately there aren’t any suitable and safe locations near the stranding/capture site that have enough protection to reduce the risk of damage to the sea pen environment by storms or other natural events (which can have unwanted consequences as an accidental release into the wild or even worse, the risk of accidental entanglement and drowning in the containment net). This is the reason why Kshamenk can’t be retired in a sea pen so the best option left is to upgrade his pool… although building a new pool is very expensive and due to the economical crisis in Argentina I don’t think it would be possible. Also, when I exchanged thoughts with my colleagues at EII and FWKF, they think it’s not a good idea to make them enlarge the pool or build a new one, because then, after Kshamenk dies, they will have a huge empty tank that they may want to fill with new animals… As you may realize Barbara, it is a lose-lose situation for Kshamenk. Because you are giving Mundo Marino a new excuse to file an export permit request, as Mundo Marino believes the only way to improve Kshamenk’s quality of life is to transfer him to a bigger pool at Sea World where he will be with other whales…. and I don’t think that Kshamenk being sold to Sea World is the goal that you and your activist friends want to accomplish. I understand that you all want to help Kshamenk, we also want the best for him but as we are professionals and have experience we can look at the big picture, so we are really cautious in our progress because we don’t want our actions to have unwanted consequences like the example of the big empty tank or pressure ending in what we have been blocking for the past 11 years: whales from Argentina exported to the US to improve sea world whales genetic pool”

All the best Gaby Gabriela Bellazzi Wild Earth Foundation (WEF) Av. las Ballenas 9500 U9121XAQ Pto. Pirámides Chubut, Argentina

As Blackfish Premieres on CNN Four More Orcas are Captured by “White Sphere” in Russia for the Captive Industry

By Kirsten Massebeau

Orcas captured near Sakhalin Island area  Source: Russian Orcas

Four more orcas captured near Sakhalin Island area, by “White Shpere” a company in Russia. Info provided by Russian Orca 

On October 27, 2013 the Facebook page Russian Orcas shared an image of orcas in a netted enclosure: “New confirmed information: Four more orcas have been captured somewhere in the Sakhalin Island area by the same company as before. In total, now there are eight captive orcas in Russia. Narnia captured last year, plus seven captured this year”.(source) In a short interview with Russian Orcas it was confirmed that the company capturing the orcas in Russia is called, “White Sphere”: “The company is “White Sphere” and its daughter company is “Sochinsky delphinary” (Dolphinarium in Sochi)”. Doctor Ingrid Visser Founder and Investigator at the Orca Trust commented on the image on her facebook page simply saying, “tragic that this happens right when “Blackfish” is making an impact”.

Previously on October 9, 2013 Russian Orcas had reported on another capture by “White Sphere“: “Three more captured Russian orcas join Narnia. An adult male, adult female and juvenile female killer whale were captured recently in the Sea of Okhotsk, eastern Russia, about 50 km south of the place where the young female orca Narnia was captured a year ago. They were transported in trucks for more than 1000 km to the south to the net enclosure near Nakhodka (Vladivostok area) and placed in the same net pen where Narnia was kept for the past year. The three captives were reportedly in a very bad condition after the transport. They refused to eat. The trainers could do nothing. Finally, we’ve heard, that Narnia herself tried something. She brought fish to the three captives and gave it to them. In this way she was responsible for persuading them to eat. This is not the first time one captive has helped others in the same situation. In the book Orca: The Whale Called Killer, Charlie Chin (M1) from the transient M pod encouraged a female in the pod to eat salmon—of course this is strange food for transients—after more than 2 months of refusing to eat. Regarding the four orcas now in Nakhodka, two of them are rumored to be headed for Moscow in November to be placed in the Oceanarium which is being built in the All-Russia Exhibition Centre. Two others are rumoured to have been offered for sale abroad. (Source)


On October 24, 2013 the heart-wrenching, fact based, eye opening film, “Blackfish” premiered on CNN. The powerful documentary exposes SeaWorld and the truth about the  death of Dawn Brancheau who was killed by killer whale,Tilikum in 2010. The movie highlights SeaWorld’s lack of concern for the safety of trainers who are working with killer whales, and explores why Tilikum has killed. Once the viewer sees the violent captures of these orca juveniles being ripped from their mothers in the wild there is no doubt what SeaWorld has to done these highly intelligent mammals, and continues to do by enslaving them is wrong. The orca is the largest of the dolphin family traveling hundreds of miles everyday. Orca families have stronger emotional family bonds than humans, staying together in pods for a lifetime. Horrific footage of the violent Puget Sound captures, and Tilikum’s capture brought viewers to tears as “Blackfish” premiered and revealed how very unsuitable orcas are for captivity yet the captures continue.

Blackfish ended up taking the number 1 spot on , “CNN Films: Blackfish #1 In Cable News Last Night In Key Demo Ratings” showing a huge interest in the compelling topic of keeping orcas in captivity. In addition CNN Polls demonstrated that people overwhelmingly believe orcas should not be in captivity yet the captures continue in Russia and Iceland, putting pods at risk of collapse, much like 43 year old captive orca Lolita whose L-Pod remains threatened in the Puget Sound today because of captures. The question looms will people get smart and realize that there is a “Better Way To See Orcas” before it’s too late?

Follow Russian Orcas on Facebook for daily updates on Russian Orcas and you can follow their website Russian Orcas Homepage

Kiska an Isolated Killer Whale Highlights the Importance of Marineland Protest

By Kirsten Massebeau

Marineland Protest May 18, 2013 by Dylan Powell

Marineland Protest May 18, 2013 by Lauren Corman

They gathered 1000 strong at Marineland on May 18, 2013 calling out for the notorious Marine Park to be shut down. In August of 2012 The Star began a series of articles exposing the cruel and neglectful treatment of animals as ex-trainers came forward, “Marineland animals suffering, former staff says”. Dolphins with peeling skin, sea lions blinded by poor water quality, and the eventual violent death of an infant beluga whale are only the tip of a very large iceberg of animal abuse. In December of 2012 the Star released yet another article revealing a secret mass animals grave yet even that would not be enough to “shut it down”. Sadly The OSPCA investigation ended in April of 2013 allowing Marineland to continue with business as usual. In the article, “OSPCA investigation ends as Marineland Complies with orders” states that many orders were given some of which involved Kiska the isolated killer whale:

He said in March the verbal orders were to assess and clean up the water and to enrich the environment of lone killer whale Kiska.

Marineland administrator Tracy Stewart said in an email at the time “there is no such thing as a ‘verbal order’ and consequently none were issued,” therefore, there were no orders on Kiska and the water system.

Kiska lives her life isolated and alone. Opening day by Natalie Lucier

In the first paragraph of the Humane Societies academic paper “Killer Controversy why orca should not be kept in captivity” the author Naomi A. Rose, Ph.D. describes, orcas as intelligent and family-oriented. Orca pods in the wild stay together for a lifetime yet Kiska is kept in a tiny tank alone. Retired from performing she literally floats in a world poisoned by chlorine, devoid of family and friends, destined to spend her remaining years in the silence of  a cement pool. Never will she have a family or feel the rhythms of the ocean.

Origami by Val Underwood May 18, 2013

Origami by Val Underwood for protest May 18, 2013

The good news is the battle continues. Following the protest event one of the organizers Dylan Powell stated, ” I want people to understand how important these protests are at Marineland”. Each protest gains more supporters for the animals languishing at Marineland. While Kiska and the other animals continue to suffer with no end in sight the battle to save them carries on to “Shut It Down”.

Be a voice for those that cannot speak for themselves the animals! Join the campaign to end the captivity of animals at Marineland by joining the open Facebook group Marineland Animal Defense M.A.D. and follow on Twitter M.A.D. @marinelandAD.

Orcas Trapped in Ice Hoping for A Big Miracle

Ariel view of the orca trapped under ice.
Ariel view of the orca trapped under the ice at Hudson Bay, Alaska

A pod of approximately 12 killer whales continues to be trapped under the ice off Hudson Bay, Alaska. The whales were first spotted on Tuesday by a local Inukjuak resident. Inukjuak’s have appealled to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans but as of yet no icebreaker has been dispatched:

Locals in Inukjuak are reporting that the mammals are gathering around one hole in the ice in a desperate bid to get oxygen.

Mayor Peter Inukpuk is urging the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to send an icebreaker as soon as possible to make additional holes in the ice to save the animals.(source)

Killer Whales taking turns as they come up for air
Killer Whales taking turns as they come up for air

Inukjuak held a town meeting and tomorrow they will be setting up a donation link:

They will be setting up an account in the morning and Petah Inukpuk, Mayor of Inukjuak will be calling back with the information on where to donate.
They need assistance financially. This is a town of 1800 people, the trapped orcas are some 38KM from the town.
They are planning on going out tomorrow to begin chainsawing ice away and making the hole bigger. It was about 30 x 30 feet and now it is quite smaller. They feel that they need to keep the hole open until help does arrive.
So, they need gas, generators, and chainsaws…. and I am sure warmth, food and water. I will make a page tomorrow to launch a campaign. (source)

Another ray of hope for the whales was announced today. Kasco Marine Inc. the company involved in freeing the humpback whales featured in the film, “The Big Miracle” have volunteered to help the whales. They desperately need help with equipment and supplies. De-Icers and bubblers are just two of the items on their list.

Please contact Kasco Marine and find out what you can do to help the trapped orcas

Kelly Strandmark

Customer Service
715-262-4488 x 100

Please keep checking Kasco’s Facebook Page and join the Twitter campaign to bring the situation to public attention, (use the hashtags #SaveQuebecWhales and #BigMiracle in your Tweets on this).

Death of Orca L-112 and Tufted Puffins view of Haystack Rock (Cannon Beach, OR). Ta...

A view of Haystack Rock (Cannon Beach, OR). Taken July, 2001. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Ed Johnson

Here in Cannon Beach, today begins our annual Earth Day Celebration, the 12 Days of Earth Day, , kicked off this morning on the beach @ world famous Haystack Rock. The morning event was coordinated by Nala Cardillo, Director of the Haystack Rock Awareness Program, with assistance from the kids at Cannon Beach Elementary School and the Cannon Beach Day Care Center. They welcomed the Tufted Puffins back to Haystack Rock. As of a few days ago, sadly no puffins had arrived.  Too their demise I have a suspensions that some of the same factors that contributed to the death of Orca L-122 may have been at play in this case as well.  Note I said may have, since they like Orica’s depend on diving to secure their food each day. They mate for life and have very strong family bounds, raft together during the winter and just prior to establishing their nesting colonies on preferred offshore sea protected rocks as is the case @ Haystack Rock.  I might add this is best place for observation in the lower 48 states. It is also know that following breeding they move northward along the coast all the way to areas off Northern British Columbia. If you look at the tracking of Orca L-26 as posted in the following article you will see documentation of this whale being in the same vicinity that these puffins must pass through as they migrate. The puffins young after fledging are at this point too small to fly and are led by their fathers. Fortunately for the Orcas under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, they are protected, with the exception  of Navy training and testing activities being conducted in the Northwest Naval Testing and Training Area. The puffins are not considered in the same fashion and being so small are undetectable based on the jargon in place to supposedly protect marine mammals.

When I first came on board with the Haystack Rock Awareness Program as an original paid staff member in 1985, the numbers of nesting burros numbered well over 300 active sites, last year only around 30 if my memory is correct.  My total point here is that something is changing which is causing a drastic reduction in marine dependent animals to be taking a nose dive. My major complaint rests with the naval use of sonar and detention of exploding underwater bombs. Their killing impact on all forms of life in the sea must be addressed. If you follow the link below to its conclusion you will join me along with thousands of other like-minded citizens, led by Ken Balcomb and so many others in asking for a complete investigation into the deaths of Victoria, Orca L-112.

SRP Orca L-112 Would Praise Orcasphere

By Edward Johnson
Mother and Calf
(L86) and her daughter, Victoria (L112) by Hysazu

Researchers to Navies: Stop Using Sonar Near Puget Sound ( There is no question L-112 is gone, a young female that eventually washed up on the Long Beach Peninsula of WA. Her life ahead may have lasted many decades beyond, only her traumatized remains can attest to what must have been a nightmarish end to her existence. The body of evidence will prove that her death was most probably caused by the sonar testing being conducted by the Canadian Navy. Both L & J Pod members were observed holding up in Discovery Bay which is located adjacent to the Straits of Juan De Fuca, an area in-which these pods had never before been observed using.This Bay would have provided protection from the Medium Frequency Acoustic waves that certainly reverberated back and forth across the Straits. It was no accident that these Pods had selected this particular location to hide.  By looking at the Google map provided(,-122.766037&geocode=&q=discovery+bay&vps=1&f=li&hl=en&jsv=399b&sll=49.717376,-122.596436&sspn=2.486233,4.669189&vpsrc=6&ei=RUhYT6foCYmNigL73oXTBg), the small land mass directly North of the entrance to Discovery Bay would have provided sonar sound wave protection from HMCS Ottawa. The fact that the Canadian Naval vessel was located in Canadian waters and to the North-East of Discovery Bay would substantiate this contention. Further the extensive hydrophone system that has been used for years in this location to track specific identifiable sound patterns emitted by each whale, recorded some alarming communications. See  These unusual sounds ran concurrent with the naval training exercises. The above link which includes all elements of the entire sonar incident leave no question as to the responsibility for the Orca death. L-112 may have been, so to say, too young, at the wrong depth, at the wrong time, at the wrong location and suffered drastic damage to her own sensitive sonar system.

It is most exciting to include the following blog by Candace Calloway  and the great opportunity extended to her by those conducting the necropsy. The anatomical pictures  & labels associated with the newly defined echolocation system of a toothed whale are exactly what the public needs. In the past cetacean conservationists have been most suspicious of these nercopsies but having Candace Calloway Whiting as a witness, a person who is truly concerned about the welfare of dolphins and whales, is restoring some lost faith. Interesting to see the results of the necropsy reports and to what degree those assess the sinus system used by cetaceans to echo-locate.

“Southern Orca Resident Pod Member L-112 Hereby proclaims that the entire group of 19 known otherwise as Orcasphere, be recognized for a most commendable effort to notify both the Canadian and US. Government  officials of their worthy petition. This petition clearly identifies the factors, events, location and ship involved in my untimely and traumatic death that I suffered on or about Feb 6, 2012. You, by opposing future sonar testing of MFA, have properly notified the powers to be, something that my fellow sea mates have long sought.  Though it was long before my time, my mother L-86 has often taken me to the location of the horrific event in 2003 during which the USS Shoup conducted those sonar shattering MFA blasts. The assumption then, based on the deaths of our seal cousins, would see a future with no further sonar testing”. L-112 interpretation imaged by Edward Johnson

In final tribute the names of those signing that petition from Orcasphere are fully recognized. Brave and truth searching souls, one and all.

  1. David Bain, Ph.D
  2. Robin Baird, Research Biologist, Cascadia Research Collective
  3. Stefan Bråger, Research Director/Curator, The Whale Museum
  4. John Calambokidis, Research Biologist, Cascadia Research Collective
  5. Fred Felleman, Vice-President, Board of Directors, The Whale Museum
  6. Andrew Foote, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  7. Deborah Giles, MSc, PhD Candidate/Research Biologist, UC Davis
  8. Rachael Griffin, B.Sc. Marine Biology, Aquagreen Marine Research, Victoria, BC
  9. Erin Heydenreich, Field Biologist, Senior staff at the Center for Whale Research
  10. Cara Lachmuth, MSc., Contract Biologist, Victoria, BC
  11. Patrick Miller, Lecturer, School of Biology, University of St Andrews, Scotland
  12. Richard Osborne, Ph.D., Research Associate, The Whale Museum
  13. Paul Spong, Director, OrcaLab and Pacific Orca Society, Alert Bay, BC
  14. Helena Symonds, Director, OrcaLab and Pacific Orca Society, Alert Bay, BC
  15. Scott Veirs, President, Beam Reach Marine Science and Sustainability School
  16. Val Veirs, Professor of Physics, Colorado College
  17. Monika Wieland, BA in Biology, Reed College
  18. Jason Wood, Ph.D., Research Associate, The Whale Museum
  19. Harald Yurk, Research Associate, Vancouver Aquarium

Note the following story appeared in the Victory, B.C. paper on Feb. 11th just to show that on that day they still hung to the, “not responsible line,” little wonder we the people lack confidence in military explanations.

Open letter OSHA vs. SeaWorld:Oppose their request

By Edward Johnson
Follow the link below now to tell Hilda Solis the SeaWorld hearing must remain open to the public
In my last blog I suggested that you should write to Sec. of Labor Solis and support OSHA(Occupational Safety and Health Agency)  since SeaWorld is attempting to have a closed hearing on the issues surrounding the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau. Lets face it, we all like to talk about what should be done, action, that is a different story. So below you will find my comment, granted if you look real close you will find the inclusion of parts submitted by  the Orca Project.

My comments went much further and attempted to include the welfare, health(mental and physical) as well as social and cultural concerns regarding Tilikum the Killer Whale. It’s urgent that you get on board to insure that Judge Ken S. Welsch does not sign a Protective Order. This can not be one of the old good ol’ boy ploys in-which big money talks, inhumane animal practices continue and a person gives their life without a open judicial revue.. Please help the family of Dawn, and end the enslavement of all marine mammals.

Most Honorable Secretary of Labor

Hilda L. Solis

U.S. Department of Labor

200 Constitution Ave., NW

Washington, DC 20210

(202) 693-6000

Re: OSHA vs. SeaWorld Order

Secretary Solis,

On Feb. 24, 2010 a tragic event occurred at the Miami, Florida SeaWorld,  killer whale trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed. Recently the mega corporation SeaWorld has requested that its marine mammal trainer’s return to the water as the show must go on.  Thankfully your agency, OSHA(Occupational Safety and Health Agency), has taken action relative to this unfortunate but predictable event. I provide the following documentation from the particular case file presented to SeaWorld, “SeaWorld recognized the inherent risk of allowing trainers to interact with potentially dangerous animals. Nonetheless, it required its employees to work within the pool walls, on ledges and on shelves where they were subject to dangerous behavior by the animals.

On Feb. 24, a six-ton killer whale grabbed a trainer and pulled her under the water during what SeaWorld describes as a “relationship session,” which was also observed by park guests. Video footage shows the killer whale repeatedly striking and thrashing the trainer, and pulling her under water even as she attempted to escape. The autopsy report describes the cause of death as drowning and traumatic injuries.

OSHA’s investigation revealed that this animal was one of three killer whales involved in the death of an animal trainer in 1991 at Sea Land of the Pacific in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. SeaWorld had forbidden trainers from swimming with this whale because of his dangerous past behavior, but allowed trainers to interact with the whale, including touching him, while the trainers were lying on the pool edge in shallow water.

In addition to the history with this whale, the OSHA investigation revealed that SeaWorld trainers had an extensive history of unexpected and potentially dangerous incidents involving killer whales at its various facilities, including its location in Orlando. Despite this record, management failed to make meaningful changes to improve the safety of the work environment for its employees.

All employers are obligated to assess potential risks to the safety and health of their employees and take actions to mitigate those risks. In facilities that house wild animals, employers need to assess the animals under their care and to minimize human-animal interaction if there is no safe way to reliably predict animal behavior under all conditions.” By various OSHA staff.

What is missing in the above rationale is the health and welfare of the Killer Whale. The stress that developed in this enslaved highly evolved intelligent creatures, by all accounts, caused a premeditated act and violent death for the trainer. The truth needs to be determined and it must include addressing what provoked this action. It is totally essential that all relevant facts be exposed in a court of law which will reveal marine mammal amusement parks for what they are, certain premature death to the captive whales as well as unsuspecting trainers or other associated park personnel. An open public examination of the contributing factors such as but not limited to: confinement in a unrealistically small pool, poor dental health which included broken teeth & exposed nerves without root canals and fillings, extremely extended periods of time remaining uncharacteristically motionless, inadequate water depths necessary if dorsal fins are to remain vertical, excessive exposure to suns damaging rays,  continuous and excessive  use of antibiotics, nonnative diets which arrived at the facilities frozen rather than live thus eliminating chasing & catching.

Judge Ken S. Welsch will be asked to sign a Protective Order for the hearing scheduled to begin 25 April 2011 in Orlando, FL effectively sealing all content and expert witness testimony, as well as descriptions of the suboptimal conditions associated with orca captivity. If successful, witnesses will be forever barred from discussing or writing anything about the case publicly, preventing any and all content from being used for future litigation or investigation, akin to the crippling of trainer John Sillick in 1987.

The family of the victim should be vindicated and the public has the right to know, as details of this case have a direct effect on the future of workplace safety at marine mammal parks.

I am most hopeful that you and your agency will counter any and all attempts which would allow SeaWorld to secure the requested Protective Order.


Edward W. Johnson

Cannon Beach, OR