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Update: Orca Badly Hurt in SeaWorld Clash

Written by PETA | October 1, 2012


After visiting SeaWorld and taking photographs of Nakai’s injury (two of which are shown below), Dr. Ingrid N. Visser, founder and principal scientist of the Orca Research Trust, found that there are “puncture marks that match orca teeth spacing,” which “is a clear indication that an altercation between the orcas was involved.” The puncture marks in question can be seen at the bottom right of the wound in the first photo below:

© Ingrid N. Visser, Ph.D.
©Ingrid N. Visser, Ph.D.

©Ingrid N. Visser, Ph.D.

This evidence strongly suggests that Nakai’s wound was indeed caused by a bite resulting from incompatible confinement rather than contacting with the side of the pool, as SeaWorld has alleged.

Originally posted September 28:

Following a serious and gruesome injury to an orca in an avoidable attack, PETA has submitted a complaint asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to take disciplinary action against SeaWorld for housing orcas incompatibly in violation of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

As you can see in these disturbing photographs, Nakai, an 11-year-old male orca at SeaWorld in San Diego, sustained a laceration so significant that, as a whistleblower said, “a dinner plate-sized chunk of his lower mandible [has been] sheared off, exposing underlying tissues, and bone.” The flesh cut from him “was big enough and intact enough for SeaWorld to retrieve it from the bottom of the pool.”

According to the whistleblower’s report to journalist Tim Zimmermann, Nakai’s injury was a result of “a major altercation” between Nakai and two other orcas, Keet and Ikaika. 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.

What You Can Do

It’s clear that SeaWorld can’t be trusted to make the safety and well-being of marine animals its top priority. Please don’t ever visit SeaWorld (or any other marine-mammal park)—and tell company executives why you won’t support the abuse of Nakai and the other intelligent, complex animals they’ve imprisoned and enslaved.

Commenting is closed.
  • Jennifer Holdt says:

    If this is how animals are treated here, it’s another place on my list of many that will never be given the time of day again. Shame on you, when you know it could have been avoided! I hope PETA and others have the power to one day shut you down completely. Sea World, you are a disgrace. Poor Nakai and all of the other animals you have captivated for a profit.

  • cathy says:

    first of all these animals should’nt be in captivity, they are not meant for entertainment. If rescued, their behavior and habitat should be studied and suitable environment should be provided . may be a lot to ask for, but if the species need to be saved, it has to be done.

  • Emily Y. Newton says:

    I am deeply saddened and disturbed by the images of Nakai’s injury due to Sea World’s noncompliance with the Animal Welfare Act. It is my hope that the USDA takes disciplinary action against Sea World for their noncompliance.

  • serina Abercrombie says:

    Sea world and other marine parks are in it just for the money they dont truly care about these animals just how much they turn a profit leave the Orcas in the water!!! instead of visiting a marine park like this got o a marine sanctuary! you can see all the same ocean animals but there they are being helped not enslaved and hurt!

  • Crystal Batignani says:

    This wound looks really painful on Nakai and I hope you are doing everything in you can to repair this and make sure this animal isn’t in a serious amount of pain. I understnd that fights occur between animals but hope that animals will be separated if you find they become aggressive towards each other. This wound is so large and deep it looks very painful as well as scary = ( Please see that Nakai gets the medical attention he needs as well as gets separated from his attacker. I have a little daughter and were planning on visiting the Orlando Sea World in November but if I hear that the animals are not cared for I will not support the company.

  • Eugenia Legoratti says:

    I would like to help but just by merely writing this i am not so sure i do. Which is in my hands is to be conscious and reject participe in the public shows which make animals in danger.

  • Mara Madel says:

    This is totally horrific!!! These animals should not be imprisoned like this! My daughter will never step foot into any of these parks.


    Ya basta de atropellar, maltratar e irrespetar las criaturas solo por su lucro personal¡¡ es inconcebible y atroz ver estas fotos, imagino el sufrimiento del pobre ser…carcel para ustedes¡¡¡

  • unoe adnvdo soquili cooper says:

    this makes me sick……… sad these places should be shut down….

  • Magdalena Mikalsen says:

    This is horrible. I hope it can be put stop to this grusome injuries. Its really heartbreaking 🙁

  • kim labelle says:

    Stopp it!!!!!

  • Beverly says:

    OMG, This Is Horrible, Why isnt this being taken care of, These whales, dolphins, etc. should not be in captivity at all…This is pure and simple ANIMAL ABUSE !!!

  • Raven faust says:

    This is sad.. screw sea world

  • Beverly says:

    OMG, This Is Horrible, Why isnt this being taken care of, These whales, dolphins, etc. should not be in captivity at all…This is pure and simple ANIMAL ABUSE !!!

  • Druscila rautenberg says:

    Pay attention to this please!!!!!

  • Emily Langan says:

    These pictures makes me sick. I will never be visiting SeaWorld.

  • jeanette hauge olsen says:

    Could people be anymore stupid

  • Erin Johnson says:

    Please fine SeaWorld.

  • Oliver Schaaf says:

    I know why I don’t visit establishments like this!

  • Mary Dick says:

    It is all about the money to be made no matter it is at the expense of these beautiful mammals. They deserve to be left out at sea where they belong!

  • Tara says:

    This is just further evidence that we shouldn’t be keeping marine mammals for human entertainment. This is so incredibly tragic.

  • mandy says:

    this is disguting and these places should be fined heavily or closed down altogether

  • Jackie A says:

    This brings me great sadness, SeaWorld should be a safe place for animals and they need to be held accountable. I will never again visit or support this park when this continues to happen. These animals should be set free and not have to perform for the amusement of an audience.

  • Laura Curran says:

    Leave this beautiful orcas alone , the ocean is there home !

  • sue says:

    Some problems have simple remedies. This is one of those.

  • gem says:

    Sea world should be disgusted. They are trying to show that they care and respect animals…yet do something like this? Sea world are selfish, money making arseholes who would rather let their animals suffer than lose a penny on money. It’s disgusting, shameful and I, for one, will never visit such a place.

  • Naomi Valenti says:

    Poor animal. People should do what is best for them and that’s giving them their freedom. I could understand if he was in captivity because of a disability but if they are in perfect condition they should be free. Give these animals a break and let them enjoy whats left of their lifes.

  • sanja says:

    stop abusing see animals an live them in the ocean where they belong!!

  • Vered Kalev says:

    Seaworld only cares about making money! They use these poor orcas and its inhumane!!

  • Edward says:

    I think this is disgusting all these animals are not for our entertainment. I hope you get fined anf I hope you fix your mistakes, not cover up but find a solution to this problem.

  • Charles Garcia says:

    These animals should not be captive in the first place. This occurrence furthers my reasoning for not visiting your park in the last several years, and not planning to visit ever!

  • Margaritaita says:

    Libertad para la ballenas!!!

  • Edward says:

    I think this is disgusting all these animals are not for our entertainment. I hope you get fined anf I hope you fix your mistakes, not cover up but find a solution to this problem.

  • Laura Manz says:

    When I was ignorant, I thought SeaWorld was a wonderful place….then I learned the truth. These intelligent, wonderful animals cannot b safely and adequately kept in a park environment. The most recent, horrible injury to Nakai in San Diego is a prime example of the danger to the animals. I will never again visit a marine mammal park. I will spread the word among all I know encouraging a boycott of these facilities. Prayers for Nakai……karma to those who enslave these animals for profit!

  • jan roberts says:

    Sea World better get on the band wagon. They need to fix this!

  • Lauren Dragan says:

    This cruelty has to stop. I love whales, and so do the people that visit Sea World. However, they would be horrified to know just how awful it is for these normally long traveling animals to be cooped up as they are at Sea World. These intelligent, beautiful, feeling beings need to be allowed to be as free as you and I.

  • WAIN says:


  • Gagyi Attila says:

    Animal rights!!!!!!

  • Patrycja Poland says:

    Terrible!!!!!!!!!!! ;( Human stupidity!!!

  • Christy Witschie says:

    It is hard enough on these animals to be in the confines such as SeaWorld yet they now suffer injury due to handles at these facilities! SHAME on YOU!

  • Amy Jeffers says:

    Separate the Orca’s before one or more get killed.

  • Menexia Dabes says:

    All life is sacred & all our actions will fall back upon ourselves. Please act wisely and compassionately.

  • Sabrina says:

    This is disgusting and why I no longer support circus, zoos, aquariums and the like.

  • Maura says:

    I will not support the abuse of Nakai and other complex animals that SeaWorld has imprisoned

  • Jingletabs says:

    Poor poor things kept for human entertainment! We are going to Florida in June but we won’t be visiting!!

  • Jingletabs says:

    Poor poor things kept for human entertainment! We are going to Florida in June but we won’t be visiting!!

  • Adilia Anduray says:

    Let’s stop the cruelty to our animal.

  • vicky hughed says:

    Needs punishment. These animals belong in the wild and deserve their right to freedom!

  • Amy O says:

    Seaworld need to review the safety regulations for the whales

  • *** seaworld says:

    Totally DEPLORABLE!!