The death of the orca Inouk caused by a small piece of metal

It is therefore a very small piece of metal which is the cause of the death of the large mammal. Inouk, the 25-year-old male orca who died last week at Marineland in Antibes, succumbed to local inflammation after swallowing a piece of iron. This is what the highly anticipated first results of the autopsy, revealed this Friday by the park, say.

It must be said that Inouk’s death, five months after the death of his 12-year-old nephew Moana, had relaunched the controversy over the situation and future of Marineland’s orcas, the last ones living in captivity in France. According to the first results reported “by the specialized veterinarian of Marineland in cooperation with external veterinarians in conjunction with State services”, the general state of health of Inouk “is not in question”, assured the zoo in a press release.

Digestive function disorders

Animal rights associations have, however, repeatedly warned about the orca’s condition, noting in particular the extreme wear of its teeth. Last fall, the courts ordered an independent expertise, which is still in progress.

“The death of the orca Inouk was caused by the accidental ingestion of a metallic foreign body weighing less than 2 grams, which caused local inflammation causing disorders of the animal’s digestive functions (subacute fibrinous enteritis and peritonitis) ”, according to Marineland. As for the causes of the presence of this small piece of metal in the pool, they “are still unknown”. Tissue and fluid analyzes are still underway to complete these initial results.

Only two orcas left in Antibes

In October, Moana had succumbed to “acute bacterial septicemia which occurs naturally in nature”, according to the conclusions of examinations and analyzes lasting months.

Although the ordinary life expectancy of orcas is difficult to establish, they generally live several decades and, even in captivity, some have reached fifty.

There are therefore only two orcas left in Antibes, both born at Marineland: Wikie (22 years old), sister of Inouk and mother of Moana, and Keijo (10 years old), son of Wikie.

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