Injured SeaWorld Killer Whale Healing, Performing

Nakai's wounds are 85-90 percent healed

By Sarah Grieco
|  Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013  |  Updated 4:15 PM PDT
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Killer Whales Cruise Bay Area Coast

Courtesy of SeaWorld

Nakai was injured in September 2012. He is continuing to heal, as this recent picture shows, according to park officials.

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A SeaWorld killer whale that was injured during a show in September is performing again.

Nakai, the 11-year-old orca, hurt his jaw during a night performance when he made contact with the tank. Park officials said his wounds are 85-90 percent healed and his behavior is normal. Marine mammal veterinarians and trainers are also pleased with his progress.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) held a protest at SeaWorld last October, claiming the whale got into a fight with other whales and filed a complaint against SeaWorld for housing whales together that are incompatible. SeaWorld issued a statement shortly after, saying Nakai was swimming comfortably with the other whales at the park and was being treated by animal care technicians.

The orca returned to his performance in SeaWorld’s “One Ocean” show in December, according to park officials.

“The types of behaviors asked of Nakai during shows do not have a detrimental effect on the wound area,” said SeaWorld spokesperson Dave Koontz in an email.

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