Pictured: Killer whale”s mysterious horror gash prompts fresh fury over the treatment of animals at SeaWorldNakai, an 11-year-old performing whale suffered gash to the chin which left its jawbone exposed
Park claims it happened when he hit the side of the poolHowever reports claim Nakai may have been in a fight with two other whalesPeta accuse SeaWorld of housing killer whales together incompatibly, a violation of the Animal Welfare Act
By Daniel Miller
PUBLISHED:11:07 GMT, 1 October 2012| UPDATED:06:35 GMT, 2 October 2012
A performing Killer Whale suffered a horrific injury which left its jawbone exposed at a SeaWorld theme park, prompting fury from animal rights groups.
Pictures showing Nakai, an 11-year-old whale who performs at the San Diego SeaWorld park, with a large gash to its chin were leaked online by a unnamed whistleblower.
In a statement, SeaWorld said Nakai”s injury was caused when it “came into contact with a portion of the pool environment”.
Jawbone: Pictures released by a SeaWorld whistleblower show the horrific injuries suffered by killer whale Nikai which insiders claim were result of a fight between three whales
Animal welfare group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has submitted a complaint to the US Department of Agriculture accusing the park of housing incompatible killer whales together
However online reports suggest the incident happened on September 20 when Nakai got into a fight with two other Killer Whales Ike and Keet.
They believe Nakai was either bitten by one of the other whales or smashed into the concrete pool wall.
JournalistTim Zimmermann reported: “It happened last week during a night show, seemingly during a major altercation involving Nakai, Keet, and Ike.
“It’s not clear if there was an aggressor or instigator, or if they all suddenly went after each other.
“Inresponse to the altercation, Nakai split to the back pool. The onstage trainers, not realizing how badly injured he was, continued the show with the other whales.
“It was only when they called Nakai over later that night that they realised he was seriously hurt.”
Animalwelfare group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has submitted a complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
They have accused SeaWorld of housing Killer Whales together incompatibly – a direct violation of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
Injury: Killer whale Nikai is kept at SeaWorld San Diego. A spokesman for the park said he was injured after hitting the side of the tank
Injury: Nikai is seen leaping clear of the water during a performance at San Diego SeaWorld
Aspokesman for the group said: “The AWA makes it clear that marine mammals that are not compatible must not be housed in the same enclosure.
“Yet SeaWorld parks have a long history of housing incompatible orcas from widely divergent groups together in enclosures – and the result has been stress, agitation, aggressive and bloody raking, serious injury, and death.”
In a statement, a spokesman for the park said: “There is no organisation in the world more committed to the physical, social and mental welfare of its animals than SeaWorld.”
Should killer whales be banned from SeaWorld following claims of poor treatment at the park
Yes NoVOTE POLL RESULTS CloseAll pollsClick to view yesterday”s poll resultsDM.has(“rcp”, “poll”, pollId: “1033058”,channelId: “1”,questionId: “”);
They said Nikai is being treated with antibiotics and had been “swimming comfortably and interacting with other killer whales”.
In February 2010 trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by six-ton killer whale Tilikum, who is Nikai”s father, at SeaWorld”s Orlando park.
The six ton whale dragged the 40-year-old into the pool by her pony tail and then thrashed her while she was in the water, as horrified spectators looked on.
Killed: Nikai”s father Tilikum is seen with trainer Dawn Brancheau. The whale dragged herinto the pool by her pony tail and then thrashed her while she was in the water, as horrified spectators looked on
Banned: No trainer is allowed in the water with Tilikum because of his size and dangerous history
It was the third death Tilikum had been involved in. In 1991 trainer Keltie Byrne died after slipping and falling into the tank with Tilikum and two other whales.
In 1999, a man sneaked past security at SeaWorld Orlando and was later found dead, his body draped over Tilikum.
Earlier this year Peta diled a lawsuit against San Diego SeaWorld claiming that the five killer whales at the are treated like slaves because they”re forced to live in tanks and perform daily.
The five whales were named as the plaintiffs in the case.
However a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit saying the 13th amendment – which outlaws slavery and involuntary servitude – applies only to humans.