Autopsy Shows Killer Whale Nami Swallowed 180 lbs of Stones Before Death
UPDATED APRIL 2012:
According to the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium, a necropsy (animal autopsy) has found that the female killer whale “Nami”, who died in January 2011, had 491 stones weighing 81.4 kilograms (179.5 lbs) in total stuck in her stomach.
As we reported HERE the 28-year-old female orca became sick and was losing weight in late December 2010 and passed away on January 14, 2011 nearly 7 months after being transported to Nagoya from her home of 24 years at the Taiji Whale Museum.
One pocket of her stomach was reportedly sagging due to the weight of some 70 kilograms (154 lbs) of pebbles stuffed in it, including the largest stone that measured 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) in length and weighed 2.1 kilograms (4.6 lbs). Furthermore, an ulcer was found in another pocket of her stomach, and bleeding from the spleen and enteritis were also diagnosed. The ailments are thought to have put a strain on Nami’s heart. ~ The Mainichi Daily News
The facility announced that Nami died from Fungal Bacterial Pneumonia, Stomach Ulcers, Myocardial Fibrosis, Heart Failure and Chronic Colitis after swallowing the stones over the course of many years at the Taiji Whale Museum where she was on public display in part of a natural cove. There are no stones in the pool where Nami was kept at the aquarium in Nagoya. (See video of her in the little cove she frequented during her life in Taiji. And also this video, it clearly shows she is bored out of her mind.
The Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium teamed up with external experts to further examine what caused Nami’s death and review how killer whales should be raised in captivity. The results of their findings were presented by a team of veterinarians at the Asian Zoo/ Wildlife Histopathology and Parasitology Conference, hosted by the Asian Society of Wildlife Pathology and Parasitology. They concluded Nami’s death was a case of pulmonary zygomycosis with Cunninghamella bertholletiae in a killer whale (Orcinus orca). This case represents the first documentation of zygomycosis associated with C.bertholletiae in a marine mammal.
Cunninghamella bertholletiae (Cb), is a saprobic fungus commonly found in the soil of temperate climates and infection is a rare cause of pulmonary zygomycosis. It is typically isolated in pulmonary bronchial isolates only as a contaminant. However, in immunosuppressed hosts invasive infection can take hold.
Below, you can read the full results of this review and see additional photos or you can open/view/download the report by clicking HERE.
Presently, there are no orcas living in Taiji. In December 2011, 29-year-old male Bingo, 25-year-old female Stella, and her 4-year-old daughter Ran 2 were transferred to the Port of Nagoya Aquarium from Kamogawa SeaWorld in Japan. The transfer for breeding purposes separated Stella from her two other daughters; 13-year-old Lovey and 9-year-old Lara who were left behind at Kamogawa. It was initially expected that Bingo would breed with Nami at the Port of Nagoya.
You can read The Orca Project’s full report on Nami’s life and death here: Killer Whale Nami Dies in Captivity and an April 2012 update: Body of Killer Whale Nami Dug Up for Display at Taiji Whale Museum