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Are The Two Moscow Orcas Hidden In These Tanks?

February 13, 2014

Giving the word “tank” a bad name….

It is often said that it is hard to hide an orca. But (perhaps not surprisingly) the Russians seem to be doing a pretty good job. There’s lots of circumstantial evidence that that the big new Moscow Dolphinarium and Aquarium at the All-Russian Exhibition Center, currently being built, plans to put two orcas on display. In an interview, God Nisanov Year Nisanova, a billionaire and one of the financial backers, says that 17 dolphins have been purchased in Japan, that they will be displayed in multiple pools (a number of which will be used in therapy programs), and that the project has also caught beluga and killer whales for display (even if photos of the captured whales made him sad). And this air transport report indicates that two orcas (a 5-meter, 2700 kg female, believed to be the orca dubbed Narnia; and a 1700 kg male) were flown to Moscow in late November or early December (a 10-hour journey in crates).

Yet no one seems to know for sure where the two orcas are right now, creating a minor mystery. The location that appears to be the most likely temporary home for them (and presumably any other whales or dolphins the Moscow Dolphinarium flies in) is the two large tanks pictured above. The tanks have since been covered by an inflatable bubble. And according to this Russian blog, the facility, which measures about 37 x 68 meters, was put together last October, and was said to be a temporary shelter, and acclimatization stop, for animals being brought in for the dolphinarium. Here are some pictures the Russian blogger posted (and there are more here, plus a video):

As far as I can tell, no one has managed to get inside and confirm there are two orcas swimming around in these tanks. But if there are it is a crude and no doubt extremely discombobulating introduction to their life as show animals in captivity. Not that there is any nice way to make that transition.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Brittani permalink
    February 13, 2014 1:41 pm

    This reminds me of Tilikum, Nootka, and Haida being kept in those modules at Sealand. That’s awful.

    • lifeforcefoundation permalink
      February 19, 2014 1:26 pm

      Lifeforce Activist’s Rare Footage in Blackfish Movie

      After the death of a whale trainer in the early 90s, activist Peter Hamilton obtained photographic evidence of the abuse of three orcas at Sealand of the Pacific, Victoria. During a covert operation Lifeforce obtained footage of the secret “holding module”. This “prison” was only approximately 25’ x 30’ x 12’. The orcas were locked up every night. They suffered physically and psychologically. Following the Sealand trainer death, the orcas were sold to Sea World. Lifeforce warn them to not put any one in the pool with Tilikum. He later killed two others. The crux of this captivity issue is that the imprisonment at Sealand led to the deaths.

      Blackfish tells the story of Tilikum. Director-producer Gabriela Cowperthwaite compiles shocking footage and emotional interviews to explore the creature’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity, the lives and losses of the trainers and the pressures brought to bear by the multi-billion dollar sea-park industry.

      This emotionally wrenching, tautly structured story challenges us to consider our relationship to nature and reveals how little we humans have learned from these highly intelligent and enormously sentient fellow mammals. There has been the deaths of at least 39 cetaceans resulting from the Vancouver Aquarium imprisonment alone. (As of August 2012 at least 9 orcas, 7 narwhals, 10 Belugas, and 13 Pacific white-sided dolphins have died. They also “loan” belugas to Sea World). Please do not support further Vancouver Aquarium expansion.

      See Tillikum: A Time for Change http://lifeforcefoundation.org/ecotv_play.php?id=54

    • February 19, 2014 1:28 pm

      After the death of a whale trainer in the early 90s, activist Peter Hamilton obtained photographic evidence of the abuse of three orcas at Sealand of the Pacific, Victoria. During a covert operation Lifeforce obtained footage of the secret “holding module”. This “prison” was only approximately 25’ x 30’ x 12’. The orcas were locked up every night. They suffered physically and psychologically. Following the Sealand trainer death, the orcas were sold to Sea World. Lifeforce warn them to not put any one in the pool with Tilikum. He later killed two others. The crux of this captivity issue is that the imprisonment at Sealand led to the deaths.

      Blackfish tells the story of Tilikum. Director-producer Gabriela Cowperthwaite compiles shocking footage and emotional interviews to explore the creature’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity, the lives and losses of the trainers and the pressures brought to bear by the multi-billion dollar sea-park industry.

      This emotionally wrenching, tautly structured story challenges us to consider our relationship to nature and reveals how little we humans have learned from these highly intelligent and enormously sentient fellow mammals. There has been the deaths of at least 39 cetaceans resulting from the Vancouver Aquarium imprisonment alone. (As of August 2012 at least 9 orcas, 7 narwhals, 10 Belugas, and 13 Pacific white-sided dolphins have died. They also “loan” belugas to Sea World). Please do not support further Vancouver Aquarium expansion.See Tillikum: A Time for Change http://lifeforcefoundation.org/ecotv_play.php?id=54

  2. February 13, 2014 2:22 pm

    The before and after pics of the “bubble wrap” being pulled over the concrete modules is compelling enough, without the reports from Russia about the “screaming” of the killer whales coming from said modules…Where are the local journalists or activists? Seemes there are some big secrets bring kept there that need extra sound protection.

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