Maltreated captive orca dies after 11 years in captivity
Tanouk's rope burns from being mishandled.
A young male
killer whale who was infamously mishandled during a transfer from France to Japan, has died at Izu-Mito Sea Paradise in Japan. Tanouk, also known as Yamato, died on October 24th. He had been separated from female tank-mate Asuka, who was captured during the infamous Taiji captures in 1997, for some time due to an infection. Tanouk was captured in Iceland in 1989 and spent six years at Marineland Antibes, in France, where he was segregated from the other whales due to physical and mental health problems. He was transferred from Marineland to Izu-Mito Sea Paradise in November 1995. Details of the transfer describe the appalling conditions Tanouk suffered during the transfer, and photographs support the claim that he was supported only by ropes, and no sling. It is a sad end to one of orca captivity's most shocking life stories. (Source: WDCS)
Tanouk was probably the best possible candidate for release back
to Iceland until he was sent to Japan in 1995. He was from the most
recently captured orcas, captured in 1989, and he had been only with
others from Iceland. He was not needed for shows and was a medical and behavioral problem at Marineland Antibbes. He now joins the 12 other orcas that have
died in captivity since Free Willy, the movie, was released.
Tanouk's scars from life in captivity. Left: Tanouk's rope burns from being handled with no sling. Right: Tanouk's sunburns and flipped dorsel fin.