VNIRO confirmed successful release of 3 killer whales today

Killer whales from Srednyaya bay are safely delivered to town Innokentievka of Nikolaevskiy district
According to installed on animals satellite tags, both orcas, that were released on June 26, remain together

VNIRO confirmed successful release of 3 killer whales today

July 16, 2019

VNIRO states that in accordance with recommendations of Consilium all cetaceans were given necessary rehabilitation, which began in June at Srednyaya Bay, then carried on throughout transportation and ended at final release location.

Prior release animals were allowed to have some rest after their 5-days journey. Veterinarians assessed their state of health and considered it as satisfying. Scientists measured killer whales, took their DNA skin samples, made blood and exhale tests. Satellite tags were also affixed.

Animals were released in two groups using transportation cage. Firstly young female and another male were placed in there. They were given with one hour massage followed by their actual release. Instead of going to the open sea killer whales turned back an awaited release of the third older female. When she let free animals came together and their group of three swam in eastern direction 300 metres away from the coast. Scientists and trainers followed them on catamaran for approximately 15 nm.

Killer whales’ behavior was calm, sometimes they increased their speed and jumped high from the water. At some point animals distanced from each other by 200 metres, after that they came closer again and all group headed towards open sea.

VNIRO director K. Kolonchin informed that release was successful with minimal stress for animals. Next stage of release will take part in two weeks. Decision on how many animals to release will be made in the near future.

Information and pictures from

Experts from Jean-Michel Cousteau Team confirmed that this kind of massage is good for killer whales an it doesn’t cause any additional stress but somehow helps to reduce negative impact of transportation in tiny containers.

Activists from Coalition “Free Russian Whales” also managed to observe release of killer whales and confirm that soon after delivery animals were indeed released in two groups. They waited for each other and went to the open sea in a group of three.