On the 9th of December at the meeting of Russian Marine Mammal Council Dr. L.M.Mukhametov (Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the RAS, Utrish Dolphinarium) reported about killer whale capturing and death in Utrish Dolphinarium.
There were several attempts to encycle orca groups by the net, most of them were unsuccessful. Animals got away over the net or dived under it. Sometimes they got away even with calves.
Reporter didn't point the exact place of carturing, approximately it is in 45-50 miles from Avacha Bay. Group of 9-10 animals was encycled by the net. Most of them got away just jumping over the floats. At last 5 animals left in the net. Two of them were released. One entangled in the net and died, because the capturers didn't see him. Another one was captured.
Age of the animal was defined by the table of correlation of age and size. The length of this orca was 435 cm, weight - about 1100 kg. For several days she was kept in enclosure in Avacha Bay, but because of muddy water they couldn't define exactly if she ate or not. Fish was thrown into the water, and sometimes orca took it into her mouth, but they didn't see if she swallowed it or not. Orca was transported to Utrish Dolphinarium in the tank full of water. During the transportation she gave so much excrements, that capturers considered it to be the sign of successful feeding.
They used antistress medication, after the question about it reporter named only one - relanium. Blood test showed inflammatory process in the organism.
Orca died 13 days after capturing.
Post-mortem examination showed many helminths. It also showed morbillivirus. Reporter considered morbillivirus to be the main reason of orca death, becase it could cause lung affection, which was also found. Based on this reporter repeatedly affirm that population is infected and close to epizootic.
Marine Mammal Council congratulated Dr. L.M.Mukhametov with successful capturing and tendered him thanks for an important contribution to Russian science. Most of the members of the Council are sure that capturing of several animals will not have an influence on population. State Fishery Commission estimate the number of killer whales in Okhotsk sea as 2500. Only A.V.Yablokov suggested to give less number of permissions and develop methodic of capturing, feeding and keeping specially for killer whales.