Info: News report from Orlando (fwd)

Michael Williamson (
Mon, 18 Mar 1996 10:43:53

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From: Michael Williamson <>
Subject: Info: News report from Orlando (fwd)
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Date: Sun, 3 Mar 1996 21:00:22 -0800
From: Howard Garrett <>
To: Multiple recipients of list MARMAM <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET>
Subject: News report from Orlando
By Gary Taylor
Orlando Sentinel
Feb. 26
(c)1996 The Orlando Sentinel
One of Sea World of Florida's oldest killer whales died Sunday night, four
days after giving birth to a stillborn calf.
The death of Gudrun, a 20-year-old killer whale that came to the park from
Holland in 1987, leaves the Orlando theme park with seven killer whales, two
of which are Gudrun's offspring.
She was the fifth adult killer whale to die at this park, said spokesman
Nick Gollattscheck. The last was in September 1994 and also involved
complications from a birth.
Gudrun had been in guarded condition, on antibiotics and under 24-hour
watch, since the birth Wednesday night of her dead calf, Gollattscheck said.
She had suffered through a seven-hour labor.
Gudrun's necrcopsy was under way Sunday night. Gollattscheck said tissue
samples would be sent to various labs in hope of pinpointing the cause of
death. It will be about six weeks before the results are available, he said.
Veterinarians also don't know why Gudrun's calf died. It was born two months
prematurely, but sonograms showed it was alive a few days before the stillbirth.
The loss of the whale will not affect Sea World's performance schedule,
Gollattscheck said. That is especially important because the shows are part
of the whales' exercise routine, he said.
Like all the other killer whales at Sea World, Gudrun performed under the
name Shamu. She had successful births Dec. 31, 1993, and July 11, 1989, and
those killer whales are now performing at the park. There have been four
other successful killer whale births at the park.
"Even with an experienced mom, killer whale births are pretty risky,"
Gollattscheck said. "The mortality rate in the wild is about 50 percent."