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Orca News

Mysterious orca found, after many years, in the southern ocean

Marine biologists have discovered a mysterious killer whale, one that was previously alluded to but never formally identified. Based on genetic tests the orca is a new type and it is the largest new animal discovered in many years.

Over half of the world's killer whale population is under threat

The future of more than half of the world's killer whale population is under threat, in part, because of man-made chemicals produced throughout the mid-1900s leaching into the ocean, according to a new study.

Killer whale breath bacteria highlight endangered species

Scientists have discovered that droplets in exhaled breath caught from the blowholes of killer whales provide insights into the health of the whales. Additionally, certain bacteria and fungi are a particular threat to killer whales.

White killer whales are becoming more common

Six years ago the first recorded white killer whale was spotted. Since then mono-color orcas have become increasingly common. Scientists are trying to figure out why.

California agency bans captive orca breeding at SeaWorld

San Diego - On Thursday, the California Coastal Commission approved a $100 million expansion of tanks used to hold killer whales at SeaWorld in San Diego.

Divers take a plunge with an ocean giant: the Goliath grouper

Miami - At first glance, an adult goliath grouper can appear intimidating. Equipped with a capacious Edward G. Robinson-esque lower jaw and weighing as much as 360 kg, or 793 pounds, encountering one while you're diving or snorkeling can give you pause.

Blackfish stars and orca experts to descend on San Juan Island

Friday Harbor - Orca enthusiasts from around the globe will unite next week for a week-long orca fest on San Juan Island in Washington State. Now in its third year, the gathering, aptly named "Superpod," will be the best attended event yet.

Op-Ed: Protest for Europe’s dolphins attracts hundreds Special

Brussels - Saturday June 28 saw the second 'Close Dolphinaria in Europe' demonstration, which was held at the striking structure of the Atomium in the capital of Belgium, the heart of the EU.

Killer whale as old as the Titanic still going strong

Vancouver - Killer whales, more properly known as orcas, usually live between 60-80 years. However, one killer whale who was probably a youngster when the Titanic sank recently completed an 800 mile journey.

How do dolphins swim? (video)

West Chester - Dolphins swim by exerting minimum effort, according to a new study. This finding overturns an 80-year-old paradox that argues dolphins are not designed for swimming.

Dolphin massacre: 15,000 killed each year in Peru

According to a report from an environmental organization, some 15,000 dolphins are killed every year by fishermen in Peru. The dolphins are used for bait to catch endangered sharks.

Plan to save Maui's dolphins

Only 55 adult Maui's dolphins are known to survive off the coast of New Zealand. A plan has been launched to try and save the few dolphins that are left.

Dolphin death virus identified

Since July, hundreds of dolphins have washed up on mid-Atlantic beaches. The cause of death has been linked to a virus, and the virus has now been identified.

A dolphin doesn't forget

A new study shows that bottlenose dolphins appear to remember each other's 'signature' whistles for up to two decades after their last encounter.

Killer whales identified as ‘two different species’

A new study of the DNA of killer whales has confirmed that there are at least two different species of orca swimming in the world’s oceans.

Killer whales live in complex communities

Killer whales do not breed freely with one another, a new report suggests. Rather the ocean’s top predators live in subgroups made up of individual communities. This is a level of sophistication similar to dolphins.

Stranded dolphin killed by new virus

San Diego - Researchers have isolated a new virus which was associated with the death of a short-beaked dolphin found stranded on a beach in San Diego.

New type of killer whale discovered

Scientists have categorized a new type of killer whale, seen in the wild for the first time. A clue about the mammal was traced back to a skeleton found in 1955.

Cetacean advocates look to make Europe a dolphinarium-free zone Special

Brussels - On June 28, in the European Union's de facto capital, cetacean advocates are planning a demonstration to request the complete ban of all dolphin shows in the EU. In attendance will be former dolphin trainer -- turned activist, Ric O'Barry.

Inuit people, Mother Nature provide freedom for trapped whales Special

Quebec - Residents of the small Canadian town of Inukjuak, Quebec are responding to the plight of eleven killer whales trapped under the ice in Hudson Bay.

Review: 'The Whale', the orca who would not be ignored Special

Coming to DVD on December 4, 'The Whale' is an extraordinary story of a solitary male orca named Luna. Luna appeared in Nootka Sound on the northern west coast of Vancouver Island in July 2001. He left hearts both touched and broken.

PETA calls for investigation into SeaWorld orca's injury

San Diego - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (APHIS) to launch an investigation into a gruesome injury received by one of SeaWorld's orcas.

Shouka's move to SeaWorld San Diego, bittersweet for activist Special

San Diego - Under the cover of darkness and without any fanfare, Six Flags in Vallejo, Calif. shipped their orca Shouka, to SeaWorld San Diego. With a heavy heart and mixed emotions, one activist watched the orca she has long campaigned for, being driven away.

Op-Ed: SeaWorld's worst nightmare as former trainers launch website Special

Orlando - SeaWorld shakes off the critics who lambast the organization's role in the captive mammal entertainment industry, by mostly ignoring them. A newly-launched website created by former SeaWorld marine mammal trainers may not be so easy to disregard.

Orca who killed SeaWorld trainer performs again amid protests

Orlando - Tilikum, the SeaWorld ocra responsible for the death of 40-year-old trainer Dawn Brancheau, was greeted by thunderous applause when he took the stage at Shamu Stadium while animal rights activists gathered outside the gates of the Orlando park.

SeaWorld trainers prepare to swim with killer whales again

Orlando - SeaWorld officials say they are preparing trainers to re-enter the tanks with the park's killer whales for the first time in a year following the death of veteran trainer Dawn Brancheau, who was killed by the orca Tilikum in full view of an audience.

Death at Sea World an accident

Wednesday's death of Sea World trainer Dawn Brancheau is being called an odd fluke and not an attack, even though the Orca whale Tillikum has a history of violent behavior.

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Orca Image

Killer whales (Orcinus orca)  commonly called orcas  belong to the oceanic dolphin family.
Killer whales (Orcinus orca), commonly called orcas, belong to the oceanic dolphin family.
Kat Kellner (CC BY 2.0)
Orca whale
Orca whale
Minette Layne (CC BY 2.0)
View northwest from the Space Needle  overlooking (left to right) Elliott Bay  Duwamish Head  Puget ...
View northwest from the Space Needle, overlooking (left to right) Elliott Bay, Duwamish Head, Puget Sound, and Restoration Point.

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