Info:Newborn killer whale dies in Vancouver aquarium

Michael Williamson (whe_william@flo.org)
Mon, 10 Mar 1995 13:43:58

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From: Michael Williamson <WHE_WILLIAM@FLO.ORG>
Subject: Info:Newborn killer whale dies in Vancouver aquarium
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Date:         Thu, 9 Mar 1995 11:55:00 UTC
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Subject:      Newborn killer whale dies
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Newborn killer whale dies in Vancouver aquarium
 
     VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuter) - A killer
whale died Wednesday just minutes after it was born at the
Vancouver Aquarium, officials said.
     A black-and-white orca whale named Bjossa gave birth to the
calf in a pool at the aquarium after a 17-month pregnancy. The
newborn struggled briefly as Bjossa sought to nudge it to the
surface and then went limp, eyewitnesses said.
     "The baby was alive ... but she failed to have enough
energy to get to the surface," said aquarium veterinarian David
Huff.
     The calf was Bjossa's third to die. Her first, born in 1988,
died because she did not produce enough milk, and the second
died from a fungal infection.
     The death revived demands from animal-rights groups that the
aquarium release its whales. A group of about 10 demonstrators
protested outside the aquarium during the birth.
     "There should be a ban on having whales in captivity. The
aquarium should implement an immediate release program so they
don't suffer any more," said Peter Hamilton of the group
Lifeforce.
     The cause of the calf's death was not immediately known and
an autopsy was planned. The body was left temporarily with its
mother to allow her to grieve.
     Killer whales often face difficult births and about half of
calves born in the wild die within their first six months, the
aquarium said.
     The survival rate of killer whales born in captivity has
improved dramatically in the last three years. Six of 10 calves
born in North American aquariums since 1991 have survived, the
aquarium said.