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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.
  • Julie says:

    This is so not right especially when you, Sea World, knew that they are supposed to be in separate domains. So by you going cheap or hastly, this is the outcome of your stupid choices. This is like a HUDGE gash in this orca whale, you cant even fix it. Now whats next you have to put him down? This really makes me mad.

  • Torbjorn Wadle says:

    Shame on you Sea World! I wonder how you can be so cruel to let something like this happen to an innocent animal? It is truly disgusting! Surely I will never visit another Sea World ever again! This makes you realize how wrong it is to keep any animal in captivity – just for us humans to walk around looking at them. Crazy!

  • Christine says:

    Keep them wild!

  • Ticked off says:

    I would be interested to know Seaworlds side of this. I mean doesn’t anyone wanna hear the way it happened and what they’re doing to help him? Im sure the top Orca people there have something to say to the public over these pictures and how “SeaWorld” is handleing this horrible wound. It does look absolutely awful but we don’t know what happened other then there was a fight between males. Can we ask them why the heck the males where placed together if it’s not a good idea?? Come on this injury is looking more and more like it was avoidable. Not good SeaWorld.

  • Heidi Sue says:

    Hope you bring in a lot of money for this creature Sea World. Hope it makes you feel real good to put such a beautiful creature through so much distress. May as well join the Ringling Bros and throw some elephants in there too. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.

  • Orca badly hurt in SeaWorld clash. says:

    After what I saw on Facebook, and what I know of SeaWorld’s practices There is no excuse, none regarding the Horror show displayed onSeptThe pain and suffering, that poor creature has to endure makes me want to puke.thank God the passerby got it on film,or I am would be covered up.I,GREG BRADWELL, will never step in SEAWORLD’s Park EVER EVer EVER.

  • sharleen says:

    how Deplorable sea world, you should know better

  • ingrid leguizamon says:

    This is SAD!

  • santiago angeloni says:

    no puede vivir zoo desconfianza, para mi mejor libretad y ayudando curar nad mas y deben vivir salvaje sin enjaula como esta rotando en cuadra x eso se siente sufriendo sin amigos tmp familia obvio se extraña sus queridos

  • constanza perazzo espíndola says:

    Hasta cuándo el humano va a seguir abusando de la Madre Tierra y sus maravillosas criaturas??? Basta de maltrato animal!!!

  • Maryse devos says:

    C’est scandaleux. De laisser se pauvre orque dans cette état c’impardonable de laisser faire ça

  • juan coca says:

    es muy lamentable lo q hacen.!!! da mucha impotencia..q pase estoo..son los animales mas hermosos q hay.. espero q puedan curar a la orca..! y poder liberarla..! no tiene q existir los acuarios.. y tampoco los zoologicos.! son el peor encierro para los animales..!

  • Karen Genosa says:

    WHY,WHY,WHY treat these great animals this way?? You should be ashamed of yourselves to let this happen,it wouldn’t happen in the wild like that because they would stay apart…you FORCE them to live not supposed to happen!!! SHAME ON YOU SEAWORLD!!!!

  • marina martinez says:

    No pueden tener asi encerrados y lastimados a los animales!!! LIBERACION!!

  • Sharon Harnage says:

    Shame, shame, shame Sea World. There is absolutely no excuse to allow this kind of cruelty. I hope you Marine Drs. on staff that can help this poor creature. I nor any of my family will visit another SeaWorld park until this practice and whatever other practice that is cruel to animals is completely abandoned.

  • Denise says:

    It seems totally unfair to leave an animal suffering that way, but in a place where they should be taking care of them contnuamente, should have them properly knowing the type of problem that can cause several male animals gather in one place. I wonder what happened to this case?

  • acereska says:

    I’m sorry, that is DISGUSTING!! I can’t even think about the pain that poor orca is feeling. OUCH!!! Someone has to do something. I have LONG wondered how they can justify caging wild animals in such small enclosures. Ocean animals of this size should NOT be kept in captivity soley for the purpose of making money. Holding them for a short period of time for treatment purposes is fine, but orcas were not meant to be show animals.. SEA WORLD…..SHAPE UP!!!!

  • Kelly Watson says:

    I was totally heartbroken to see this animal being totally neglected and in such obvious distress and agony. Please get this beautiful whale immediate assistance no one animal or human deserves to be in pain. if this was a human people would demand immediate action.!!!

  • terri says:

    considering that these magnificent creatures are raped from all that is natural to them and used to perform for financial gain, Seaworld could at least ensure that they welfare (whats left of it)is maintained to the highest of levels. I feel is utterly disgusting that Seaworld imprison these whales for entertainment, imagen living your life in a cell deprived of your family and natural habitat, spending each and every moment sad, depressed and bored. FREE the whales, ALL of them, MAKE the RIGHT CHOICE, they DONT have a choice!!

  • Isabella Reid says:

    This is a sin

  • Bobbie Davis says:

    Seaworld … shame shame shame on you! If you don’t know what you’re doing get out of the business. You should be out anyway. Animals are not a business they should be free to enjoy life, like you do. How about we put you in their place, I’m sure things would change then, right? Shame on you again … and again … and again.

  • Sabrina Sarraille says:

    Quiero que curen a la orca y se acaben para siempre los acuarios!

  • Marie says:

    This is beyond cruelty. Take him away from this dreadful place. This is enough abuse and neglect. Stop it now and shut them down now! No more chances!

  • LINDA GARCIA says:


  • Tom Murray says:

    there is no excuse for this happening at SeaWorld! If the trainers know the whales don’t like each other they should keep them in separate tanks or better yet return them to the ocean. I hope a marine vet can help that poor creature heal the awful wound!!

  • The Stirrer says:

    The S.D. Padres had Crystal the monkey assist in throwing out the first pitch and afterwards, Crystal posed for photos on several employees’ shoulders. The smile looks charming but who knows what that poor monkey endures. Shameful.

  • carolina sanchez says:

    no mas maltrato, nuestros animales merecen la libertad que la Naturaleza les dio.

  • Jean Psolka-Zalek says:

    What the hell is wrong with SeaWorld?? Start paying attention to the welfare of the animals before you don’t have them anymore and you would surely lose money, now wouldn’t you???? Bet that’ll get you moving, huh???



  • nadia says:

    this is just awfull..

  • Robin Borne says:

    Please if you are any kind of animal lover stop the cruelty to these whales and release if possible back into their natural lives. Otherwise keep them separated from all the other whales danger awaits them. Please keep our animals and mamals safe!

  • Lisa Clemett says:

    This is so horrible!! WHy is that poor animal still on display and not being treated!?My thanks to the person who was able to take and report these pictures…it is so barbaric and cruel to allow this

  • Gabriela Alvarez says:

    Por favor cuiden a esta Orca, como se puede hacer mal a un animal de esta forma, y sin ningun tipo de consciencia y responsabilidad. Gracias por hacer el bien.

  • Kylie says:

    this makes me not want to visit the one here in australia. just wish they thought before something else happens.

  • Patrick says:

    Absolutely shameful

  • Aquaea Marshall says:

    No animal species should be kept in captivity or used for human entertainments!

  • sally says:

    This is disgusting, poor animal care from whom people love to go and see your show. This is NOT care, it is a slow death. How would you like it if people just let you get on with life, with half your lower jaw missing, and did not give a rat’s ass about it whilst you’re swimming around in agony? Set the record straight – you all should go to hell for letting these poor creatures live this horrendous life. I severely hope the whole world agrees with me on this. THIS IS DISGUSTING BEHAVIOUR FROM MANKIND.

  • Helene says:

    We were created to look after animals and care for their wellbeing!this is so cruel and I wish all animals will be set free in captivity!

  • Susan van says:

    I will never visit sea world in my life again! How disgusting of them to let this happen!!!

  • Jed says:

    No its not love, its about keeping a job. And really the best job we can all do is to do the right thing and return the whales to their natural habitat where they belong.

  • Tatjana says:

    The highest penalty for People is to be imprisoned.

  • William Ching says:

    LETS ALL VOTE TO KEEP ORGANIZATIONS LIKE SEA WORLD OUT OF BUSINESS! and Let us all remember FREE WILLY, the orca that was once in the same situation but is now FREE WILLY!

  • kim holah says:

    this is discusting,how on earth has it come to this,yes its nice to be able to see whales and dolfins in sea world but not at a cost of there health and well being,sea world you sould be ashamed of your selves.

  • shavon says:

    the last time I went to Sea World there I asked how they got the fish. where they bred there of do they catch them. the lady told me “there is no law against fishing. I left after that and never went back.

  • Fabiola Molina says:


  • Raquel Roig says:

    Libertad animal!!!

  • Yvette Arredondo says:

    Never going to Sea World ever again.

  • Jana says:

    No, Juniper, whats wrong with you? If you can’t put them back, then at least don’t have them do stupid tricks for our amusement. Instead, they should be able to swim in enclosures much bigger than those at Sea World!

  • senthy says:

    Bonjour à tous. Je suis contre, mais absolument contre, le fait que pour l’argent et le pouvoir tous ces animaux soient captifs. Cela devrait etre interdit une bonne fois pour toute. Quant on aime la Vie, quand on aime les animaux, on ne les réduits pas à la captivité où bien entendu, des horreurs vont arriver. Qu’ils soient ou nom nés dans des bassins, comment peut on les réduire à la dépendance des hommes et à cette prison. Si certains trouvent que parce que parfois et non tout le temps, ils ont des soins dans ces parcs, cela ne me convainc pas du tout ! Rendez leur la liberté…… soignez cet enimal…….. Merci. Quant à ceux qui vont vouloir découvrir l’évolution sportive de ces animaux, mettez vous devant votre télé et regardez les documents enregistrés. Ce sont vos demandes de plus en plus importantes pour votre plaisir et pour l’argent qui font que !!!!! ces animaux sont captifs. Ils appartiennent au monde marin. Rendez leur leur univers… leur liberté, leur vie !!!! A ceux qui travaillent dans ces lieux, vous savez très bien que l’instinct et la survie leur feront retrouver une vie possible en mer.

  • DelRay Spray says:

    Juniper,turning there backs to keep there jobs does not say they love the animals!!