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An orca is a marine mammal. They are often confused for being a whale because of their name, but orcas are actually dolphins. In fact they are the largest member of the dolphin family. They are familiar with their black and white colouring but actually, depending on where they live, have very different appearances, behaviour, diet and ways of communicating.
Orca is a toothed mammal feeding on fish, seals or other species of dolphins. They have been also known to attack baleen whale calves and even adult whales. No other animals prey on them. Killer whales are highly social. They feature strongly in the mythologies of indigenous cultures with their reputation ramging from being the souls of humans to merciless killers.
There are 3 main types of killer whales:
The two orcas and six belugas taken from Whale Prison earlier this week for release have arrived at the village of Innokent’yevka in the Khabarovsk Territory. Their onward journey will take them to Cape Perovskogo in the Sakhalin Gulf. The head of Sakhalin Environment Watch, Dmitry Lisitsyn, warned that the animals may suffer greatly and even die while being transported to Cape Perovskogo, as the road between the two locations is very bad and has been washed out due to severe rain.
Ten days of rehabilitation is planned for the whales once they arrive at their destination. While some rehabilitation is better then none, ten days is not nearly enough time to rehabilitate the animals who have been in captivity and around people’s for almost a year now. The release process reportedly has to be completed by October, leaving only four months time to rehabilitate and release all 86 belugas and 10 orcas. According to the director of VNIRO, Kirill Kolonchin, each animal will be fitted with a satellite tag and monitored for three months following their release.
As if it could get any worse, Jean-Michel Cousteau’s team, initially consulted by Russian officials, is not included in the release process, nor any independent observers. There is so much reason not to trust VNIRO or those who carried out the captures and are now involved in the release process. Without independent observers, potential animal may be hidden from the public. This is more tragic the revealing.