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Stop the Orca Kshamenk's Continued Captivity and Potential Sale to Six Flags Marine World!
Support rehabilitation and release of Kshamenk

Kshamenk is an orca now held captive at Mundo Marino, an amusement park in Argentina


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.

Kshamenk in captivity
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.

Who is working on this:

The Wild Earth Foundation (Fundación Tierra Salvaje) in Patagonia, Argentina has been leading the release effort. Public opinion strongly favors this release project, and the Argentine media is totally supportive. Wild Earth Foundation is currently working on all the logistics of the rescue and release operation with the help of international environmental and animal protection organizations, and they need our help now to obtain custody of Kshamenk.

Free Kshamenk from captivity!
What You Can Do to Help:

Please send a letter to the newly elected President of Argentina, Sr. Nestor Kirchner, urging him to do the right thing by supporting the releasing of Kshamenk in Argentina immediately.

(Clicking the email link below will also copy your message to Dr. Atilio Savino: asavino@medioambiente.gov.ar)

E-mail address: secretariageneral@presidencia.gov.ar

[Sample letter]

Dear President Kirchner:

I am hereby urging you to support the extraordinary effort to rescue the lone orca Kshamenk that was captured by Mundo Marino more than ten years ago. Capture and confinement is extremely stressful for orcas, and Kshamenk is showing clear signs of depression and frustration due to years of isolation in a small tank.

It is time for Kshamenk to go home. This particular orca is a very good candidate to be released back into his natural home range, following appropriate and proven rehabilitation protocols.

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.


Your Name
Contact Information Here.

Thank you for making a difference! Read more about Kshamenk history.

Map of Valdes Peninsula

©Josue Savio Cornejo

©Josue Savio Cornejo

©WEF 1997

©WEF 1997

©WEF 1997


©Josefina Ben

©WEF 1997

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