August 21, 2019
Press Release from VNIRO from August 21, 2019
VNIRO scientists involved in the rehabilitation and release of killer whales and belugas from the Srednyaya Bay to the Sea of Okhotsk state that animals successfully adapt to natural conditions, they reached the places of traditional habitat of their wild relatives and have high chances to unite with them.
This is evidenced by the results of observation of animals through the analysis of signals from satellite tags, as well as visual monitoring.
“All released animals eventually came to the Shantar Islands, where they were caught and where their wild families could be. While in captivity, they did not lose their natural instincts – it is safe to say that they began to independently get their own food and establish social ties with wild relatives, ”said Vyacheslav Bizikov, deputy director for research at VNIRO.
During monitoring in the Shantar Islands, VNIRO scientists discovered 5 families of wild killer whales with a total number of more than 30 individuals, and recently information was obtained that a killer whale with a satellite tag moves in a group of wild relatives near the area of Konstantin Bay.
It is important to note that a number of environmental public organizations that are members of Free Russian Whales coalition, independent experts, and Greenpeace Russia representatives, who participated in the third stage of the release of marine mammals along its entire length, have already joined the monitoring of animals.
Scientists and ecologists agreed to exchange relevant information on the location of animals and their behavior, photo and video material.
To date, 8 out of 10 killer whales and 6 out of 87 belugas located in Srednyaya Bay have been released into their natural habitat. Tomorrow, on August 22, the 4th stage of release starts. It will involve transportation of 2 killer whales and 6 beluga whales.
Comment from Free Russian Whales coalition:
We are happy to hear the news of the reunion of one of the killer whales with wild relatives.
We would like to confirm that an agreement on the exchange of information with VNIRO has been reached, which we are very pleased. We look forward to further cooperation in monitoring the following released animals.