Thursday 01 July 2021 | 32

Our investigators saw Ula in a state of extreme emaciation


Mis à jour le 01 July 2021

In the month of May, and when the latest news published by Loro Park in April about Ula was bad, our investigators went to Tenerife’s dolphinarium, property of the Parques Reunidos group, which also owns the Marineland of Antibes. We had to go and see for ourselves what was going on. After this visit to the Spanish pools, we were not hopeful about the future of Ula at all.

Hr blog

Dr Gallego, a veterinarian specialising in marine mammals, analysed the behaviour and physical appearance of Ula and her mother Morgan at our request. It emerged from his assessment that Ula was in a state of extreme emaciation. At two and a half years old, she should be putting on weight rapidly and continuously. Instead, the little orca, born with a deformity to her left flipper, suffered a period of serious digestive illness which made even the park’s management team fear for her life.

A past marked by difficulties

Separated at birth from her mother, Ula was unable to be nursed by Morgan. And since this period of critical urgency in the spring, she has been isolated from the rest of the orcas. Our investigators could see that during the show, she was moved from one medical pool to another, no doubt so as not to mess up the stunts. In fact, when she did not stay still in the pool of the dolphinarium, she would spy hop to look into the other pool. The adults spent time at the entrance of her pool as if to keep in touch with her.

A frail health

According to our sources in the dolphinarium, she began to lose weight without losing her appetite, then she no longer ate anything. A feeding tube filled with very diluted fish purée had to be used because she was vomiting everything else she swallowed. She recently accepted food again by way of small fish every two hours, which made the keepers optimistic. But it was nowhere near enough for her to regain strength and weight.

For the veterinarian specialising in marine mammals, Ula “does not seem to be in total remission.” Of course she is better, but all the same her state is still devastating: you can see her ribs sticking out, which would never happen with an orca in good health. In the same way, you can make out the section between her head and the rest of her body, giving the first the shape of a peanut, a sign of a serious loss of subcutaneous fat, which is totally alarming. Furthermore, her dorsal fin is beginning to cave in, which indicates a lack of fat and muscle, and therefore exercise. This has a particular repercussion on her buoyancy: she has trouble returning to the surface to breathe.

An uncertain future

Ula remains in a critical condition even if the return of her appetite is good news. In any case, her and Morgan should not be confined in these pools. Besides, it should never have been possible, given the regulations in dolphinariums, for an orca like Morgan not born in captivity to give birth to a baby in a pool. A better future exists for the orcas of the dolphinarium – marine sanctuaries. Moreover, we are in the process of working to a solution of this kind for the French orcas with the greatest specialists on the matter. Morgan and Ula could perhaps benefit…if the little one survives in the meantime.

Translated from the French by Sophie Martin

Julia Mothé
Hr blog

In the subject

Unpublished images of Inouk, the orcas, and the dolphins at Marineland in Antibes At Loro Park, Ula goes from bad to worse… and it’s the dolphinarium that says so

Comments 32

I accept that publication of my comments is subject to the code of conduct.

Karine | Monday 19 July 2021

Les animaux ne doivent pas être captifs, leur place est dans un sanctuaire pour être en sécurité. Nul n'a le droit de s'approprier la vie d'autrui pour en tirer profit. Il est temps que la folie destructrice de certains cesse une fois pour toute. Merci à ONE VOICE de continuer à se battre pour leur liberté.

trochu | Wednesday 07 July 2021

Oui, nous devons exiger haut et fort les fermetures définitives de tous ces marinelands et delphinariums qui ne sont que "des baignoires" pour tous ces cétacés êtres vivants exploités et utilisés "juste pour la distraction" !
Quant est ce que les populations ouvriront enfin les yeux et prendront conscience que tous ces animaux enfermés et emprisonnés, obligés de faire "le clown et le pitre" pour amuser des imbéciles sans cervelle, vivent l'enfer et l'horreur au quotidien mais surtout qu'ils n'ont rien à faire dans de tels endroits de la honte, et il en est de même pour les cirques, il est pourtant évident qu'aucun animal ne soit né "pour être exploité et dressé sous la torture et maltraitance extrême" pour divertir et amuser une autre espèce vivante que sont "les humains". Que faut il donc à tous ceux et celles qui cautionnent et se rendent dans de tels endroits immondes "voir de pauvres animaux exhibés et humiliés rabaissés au plan "d'objets de distraction" alors qu'ils sont tous très intelligents, très sensibles, émotifs et DES ETRES VIVANTS A PART ENTIERE autant que ceux qui viennent les voir et que tous autres humains.
Cela devient plus que révoltant et révoltant que ce gouvernement n'agit en rien en faveur des animaux et brille par son insensibilité, son indifférence et son mépris à l'encontre DES ANIMAUX et honte à lui et à macron vraiment.

Correze | Wednesday 07 July 2021

Que faire pour sauver ces animaux ? Fermer ces lieux. Et interdire ces activités!

Louve | Tuesday 06 July 2021

Fermeture définitive de toutes les prisons pour animaux (cirques, delphinariums, zoos), les animaux doivent vivre libres et non contraints par la force à faire des spectacles pour amuser un public qui ignore totalement les dessous desdits spectacles.
Merci pour vos combats et pour le sauvetages des animaux prisonniers de tortionnaires.