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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.
  • Eloisa Terrazas says:

    Ni porque les da su sustento, cuidan a los animales. Basta de tortura a los animales.

  • Gina Powell says:

    To Seaworld supporters such as this comment “All the whales have adapted to their life in captivity,” you are a disgrace to the human race. You need to be kept in a cage and see how you feel. The lifelong forcible confinement of such beautiful creatures is a disgrace and anybody that supports them is just as disgraceful.

  • jenn says:

    wait, I also just realized.. they’re still using him for shows.. WITH THIS HOLE IN HIS MOUTH?????? Are they serious?? Is that why the pics were able to be taken?? Enough already Sea World!

  • Jenn says:

    I am absolutely floored by the lack of care and responsibility that is shown to these animals. For our government to not take action and simply ignore this, questions my trust in them. If they’re that blind to THIS, a gaping wound you can’t miss. It only shows how they would be blind to other issues as well.. I hope they prove me wrong.

  • doriana lehmann says:


  • Margaret Won says:

    Since Nakai was born at Sea Life Park there is no other option but to house him in a safe environment. He cannot be set free but can humanely be treated. The park needs to stop hiding the facts and just do the right thing. They make millions on their captive creatures.

  • SeaworldSupporter says:

    This was a accident. No one saw it coming. They are doing everything they can to help Nakai. These whales are cared for. Accidents happen. He was born here. All the whales have adapted to their life in captivity.

  • paula says:

    These poor orcas are stressed out and being driven mad by this cruel confinement. when will people learn that animals are not here for human entertainment.

  • Lisa says:

    These animals can probably never be free in the wild again thanks to Sea World. I will not support them and their slavery of Orcas.



  • Shari says:

    What Seaworld location did this happen? Again PETA just let me know when to protest! I’ve got San Antonio cover who will do Florida and Calf?

  • KM says:

    I think that SeaWorld to show of the Killer Whale, close down. They need to have send to wild life on their own and be happy. I noticed that killer whale has been injured and suffer as slave. Another mammal display for the kids to see and learning. Not miracle display of killer whale is. Ridiculous. PETA will work on it. Please close down for one showing. Not care about rather money from patrons. Most important let Killer Whale go!!!!!

  • monsse cabrera says:

    This is horrible!

  • Michael Parillo says:

    I have always supported Sea World by visiting them because I thought they really cared about their animals but after the last couple of months of these horror stories I am starting to reconsider my support for them..Always thought they had the animals welfare as their first priority.

  • Luis Espinoza says:

    Ya es suficiente! no somos superiores, no somos dueños de este mundo, somos parte de él como todas las demás criaturas y no llegamos aquí a hacer lo que se nos venga en gana! Todos tenemos derecho a disfrutar de vida y libertad, tenemos que comprender eso! ya basta del abuso y el egoísmo, NO SOMOS MÁS QUE OTROS SERES EN ESTE PLANETA, SOMOS IGUALES!!!

  • Shari says:

    All u can say PETA is…let us know when to protest!

  • victor quintana says:

    esto es muy triste

  • TANIA CORRAL says:

    This is horrible! how can treat animals that way? they arent free and treat too that way…humans cant be worst..

  • alphawolf says:


  • ALMA VAZQUEZ says:

    Que lamentable, por favor tomen en cuenta las firmas. Sean responsables con el planeta, la vida y con la sociedad.

  • Marcos Izquierdo says:

    Liberacion animal ya!!

  • marilin castet says:


  • Natzuki Sempai says:

    Que terrible!! Por qué las personas suelen ser tan insensibles si así son con los animales no tendrán piedad con los humanos! podrían matarse entre sí

  • carmely says:


  • Micaela Peralta says:

    this is horrible and unfair

  • Sara Martínez Pozo says:

    Free Nakai

  • lorena ponce says:

    Crueldad extrema! No al cautiverio!!!

  • Yoilin Rojas Villalobos says:

    it´s so terrible!!! 🙁

  • Pedro says:

    “Sería mucho mejor si un ser sintiente nunca hubiese existido, a que existiese sólo para soportar miseria incesante.”

  • erika rdz says:

    no puedo creer que no hagan nada encontra de las personas que maltratan a los animales, son seres vivos como nosotros, el hecho que no hablen no significa que no sientan 🙁

  • Lorena Ruiz says:

    No se puede tolerar la crueldad.

  • Jaziby Gezabel says:

    Did they seriously think that they would get away with this? It’s awwwful! 🙁

  • Jose says:

    No me lo puedo creer.

  • Carmen says:

    Ojala todo mejore para esta Orca…amemos nuestro planeta…..

  • Carmen says:

    Ojala todo mejore para esta Orca…amemos nuestro planeta…..

  • Guillermo Nuñez says:

    Como me dolio ver esta imagen, las orcas son unos de los animales mas preciosos que hay y tan explotados. Apoyo la la defensa de las ballenas!!

  • Maria Alexandra says:

    lamentable, ojala que tomen en cuenta las firmas y hagan algo!

  • miriam garcia says:

    animals should live free 🙁

  • Andrea says:

    every creature has the right to life FREE like the humans, the humans are also only creatures…

  • thatonedude says:

    Those complaining about the “cruelty” of keeping animals in captivity… these animals are kept usually due to the fact that they are incapable to survive in the wild on their own, because of injury or sickness.

  • dominique says:

    They are away from their families and natural home for our greedy pleasure. Can you imagine go through the day , the night , how can you sleep?

  • dominique says:

    They are away from their families and natural home for our greedy pleasure. Can you imagine go through the day , the night , how can you sleep?

  • Pepe says:

    we only can call ourselves civilised when we treat the animals with humanely. This animal slavery at it worst.

  • Kat says:

    What on earth is wrong with these people. There are rules in place to prevent things like this from happening. Why are they being ignored by these establishments. I sincerely hope that this organisation is dealt with occordingly to stop this from ever happening again. It appears that this establishment has ignored every stipulation and it’s just about making money and not protecting our exquisite wildlife. Shame on you!

  • Doreen says:

    I will Never go to a Seaworld Show !!!

  • Megabonanza says:

    that wound looks really bad

  • Francia E says:

    Si tomàramos conciencia no visitariamos ni circos ni parques con animales cautivos en Shows haciendo cosas que no son sus comportamientos naturales!!! no al maltrato animal

  • noelia says:

    apoyo la defensa de las ballenas. Basta de su caza indiscriminada, basta de utilizarlas como entretenimiento, cada ser viviente debe quedarse en su habitat, el humano debe parar, basta de alterar la naturaleza!

  • thomas 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.!!!