VNIRO - Three more orcas released
16 July 2019

Three more orcas released

After loading in Srednyaya Bay on July 11 and transportation during 5 days to Cape Perovsky, all animals are safely released into the Sea of Okhotsk.

The second stage of the release of marine mammals into their natural habitat was completed. Following the recommendations of the Consilium of scientists, the necessary preliminarily   readaptation measures were carried out with animals. Readaptation activities began in the center of their detention in Srednyaya Bay in June, continued during transportation and ended right at the place of release.

After animals arrived at the Cape Perovskiy on July 16, they were given a break from the road, and then preparations for release began. On-site veterinarians evaluated their state of health, recognizing it as satisfactory. Scientists have made measurements of orcas, took samples  of skin for DNA, blood tests and exhalation, each species was installed with a satellite tag to further monitor the behavior.

Animals were released in two batches via transport cage. At first, a male and a young  female  orcas were placed in it. Within an hour they were given a massage, after which they were released.  Instead of heading to the open sea, these orcas turned around and went to the shore, waiting for the release of an adult female. After its release, the group merged, and the animals went along the coast at a distance of 300 meters to the east. Scientists and trainers on a catamaran accompanied them for about 15 miles. The behavior of the orcas was calm; they periodically accelerated and began jumping high from the water. Then the distance between the animals increased to 200 meters, after which they again became close and the group headed into the open sea.

“Unlike the first stage, when the storm prevented us and we were forced to keep animals in the transport baths for two extra days, this time everything went well with minimal stress for them,” said  director  of VNIRO, Kirill Kolonchin. - I would especially like to thank all the specialists who participated in the operation for their professional and well-coordinated work. The next stage of release will take place in two weeks. We will determine the number of released animals in the near future.”

VNIRO Press Service