Kshamenk is a 16-year-old male orca that was captured along with three other orcas by the amusement park Mundo Marino in Argentina 12 years ago. While Mundo Marino has claimed they "rescued" the orca from a local beach, it was recently revealed on national television that Kshamenk, along with three pod members, was obtained by means of a forced stranding: Four orcas were forced ashore by Mundo Marino boats pulling a net between them. The orcas were stranded high and dry on the beach for several hours. One was released because he was too big to be handled by the capture crew. One died on the way to Mundo Marino, and one beat himself to death on the concrete walls when he was placed in the tank. The only survivor in captive of the four orcas is Kshamenk.
At some point Kshamenk shared his small tank with Belen, an adult female orca, but she died in February 2000, leaving Kshamenk in isolation. Captivity is taking its toll on this victim orca, and today Kshamenk is known as uncooperative, sexually frustrated, angry, and depressed.
We think that Kshamenk is a very good candidate to be released back into the wild, for several reasons.
Kshamenk was about five or six years old when captured, which means he had plenty of time to gain experience in natural survival skills such as foraging, navigating, communicating and the use of sonar.
Kshamenk is hostile to trainers and handlers. In fact, he wants nothing to do with people. The fact that Kshamenk has not bonded with people during the time he has spent in captivity makes is much easier to help him once again become a wild animal.
Unlike all other captive orcas that we know of, Kshamenk is not a so-called resident orca. Kshamenk is a transient orca and, to our knowledge, one of the few transient orca in captivity in the world. Transient orcas have a much more flexible social structure than resident orcas. This means that Kshamenk could adapt well to other pods than his original family unit, and there is a very good chance that he would connect with some of the many transient orcas that regularly pass through the area that has been chosen for the rehabilitation/release site. (www.keiko.com)
Please sign this petition, and tell the Argentine government that Kshamenk has ahd enough of being a slave to entertainment!
I am writing to you to ask for you to please rehabilitate and release Kshamenk, the lonely Orca at Mundo Marino. Mundo Marino claims to have "rescued" Kshamenk, along with a few other orcas (all suffered premature deaths) but due to recent evidence, we now know that he was forced to strand himself by a group of Mundo Marino boats.
As you well know, Kshamenk is living by himself, with only a few dolphins as insufficient company, in a tank that is much too small for him, considering he can hardly move in it. Orcas are free-ranging animals, and enclosing him in such a manner is obviously animal cruelty. Because of his situation, he is sexually frustrated, depressed, and, at times, aggressive.
I believe that Kshamenk is a great candidate for release for 3 main reasons. 1. He was about 5 or 6 years old when he was captured rather than, say, 2 years old. This means that he has learned the basic fundamentals of being a wild Orca. 2. Kshamenk is resentful of his handlers and trainers, and has never developed a close bond with any of them. This is great because that will make the transition from dependent on people, to dependent on himself that much easier. 3. Unlike most other captive Orcas, Kshamenk is a transient Orca, meaning that he could adapt well to any pod he came in contact with, rather than only being able to live with his family pod.
Working together with international marine mammal experts, scientists, veterinarians, and animal welfare and environmental organizations, Wild Earth Foundation (WEF- Argentina) and Free Willy Foundation (USA) are prepared to take full responsibility for the relocation, rehabilitation, and release of Kshamenk.
By intervening in this case you would be sending a very powerful, positive message to the rest of the world about Argentina's respect for nature.