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My Impressed Orca Story(1)― The bonds between Stella and Oscar

*All the information is originally researched and compiled by myself(SHIROBUTA) referring to KSW origin papers. Copyright 2011 SHIROBUTA All Rights Reserved. When you quote this, please let me know.

 Here is the series of stories that attracted me to Orcas.  

(Stella on the sub pool stage and Ran in the pool   Photo:December 2010)

 In Kamogawa Sea World (KSW), Stella’s delivery was coming soon. From the experience of Maggie’s miscarriage, it was known that the mother temperature has fallen prior to the delivery.

 In Maggie’s cases, the calf could not survive. There are 3 barriers for a calf to pass; (1)breath itself, (2) follow the mother(3)get the milk from her.
 In Maggie’s 1st delivery, the calf could not pass (2) barrier (March 3, 1995)
 In Maggie’s 2nd delivery, the stillbirth ended up sadly with depriving Maggie life as well(October 7, 1997).

 The veterinary doctor and raring staff had worked hard to study Maggie’s cases to produce the success result in the next chance. They had a rule; watching/caring the animals carefully, being perfectionist rather than efficiency seeker, thinking from the animal point of view.

 They had not experienced Orca delivery in Japan at that time. Therefore, they determined to refer to Dolphin cases they had gone through many times in KSW. In the Dolphins cases, the mother and “aunty” female became restless if the male Orca is left in the same tank.
 Thus, they determined to put Oscar(the male that Stella was captured with) and Bingo/Thor(the father-to-be male) in the sub tank. However, Stella and Oscar would not apart each other. So, they left Oscar in the main pool with Stella.

(Oscar   Photo: December 2010)

 In the early morning on January 11, 1998, the labor had started. Around 8:00am, the calf come out.
 Stella paid no attention to the calf, even though the calf fell down to the bottom of the tank. The doctor and staff recollected what happened to Maggie and her calf.
 When they were hopeless to what to do, Oscar come to the calf and bite its head lightly. The calf come to itself and swam up to the surface for its first breath.

 There still remained the 2nd barrier; the calf had to follow the mother
 Stella still paid no attention to the calf and swam with Oscar calmly as usual.
 The doctor and staff determined to call Bingo/Thor from the sub pool to change the situation. Some worried that Bingo might harm the calf, but they believed that Stella’s maternal love would outbreak.
 When the gate was opened, Bingo comes in vigorously. However, Bingo went back to the sub pool after circling the pool one time.
 People cannot blame them. They(Bingo, Oscar, Stella) were captured when they were around 2 or 3, so they had scarcely seen calves nor experienced childcare.

 The director of the aquarium made up his mind. He called one female trainer, who always played water-work with Stella in ideal harmony.
 First, she tried to guide Stella to the calf in vain.
 Then, she did what the director told her to do. She tried to deprive the calf from Stella to stimulate her maternal affection.
 She swam hard to catch up with the calf. When she is about to touch the calf’s pectoral fin, something strikes her back. The whirlpool put her to the bottom of the tank. She swam desperately to the surface and found Stella swimming with the calf.
 The doctor and staff were pleased with their good job.

 1 day passed, and Stella gave 1st milk to the calf. 54 hours had passed since the delivery.

 One day, when Stella built up childcare routine, that kidnap-attempt trainer entered the tank. Stella was accepted her as she used to be.

 They were convinced that what "rules” they secured were correct.

 Stella, since then, gave birth to 3 other female calves; Lara,Sara and Ran .


(Stella giving a kiss to Ran, and Bingo seeign them   Photo: December 2010)

 The 4th calf Ran was born head-first (February 25, 2006), where Lovey and Lara played the “aunty”. Lovey is the one who was born in the above-mentioned story. Lovey accompanied Stella during the long labor. Once the calf was fallen to the bottom of the tank, Lovey bit its head as she used to be done by Oscar.
 When the calf took the 1st breath, 4 Orcas were swimming together; Lala, the calf, Stella and Lovey. Lovey was swimming close to the wall to protect the calf from it.


(Lala and Lovey perfoming the Jump   Photo:December 2010)

 Lovey herself became mother in 2008, that would be illustrated some time soon in my essay here.

(Earth ―The 1st third generation of the captive Orca in Japan   Photo:December 2010)



☆☆☆Referred documentation☆☆☆
・SAKAMATA『さかまた』(Seasonally released by Kamogawa Sea World) NO26、45、60,61、63、75 (Japanese only・・but you can see many pictures on WEB)
・Teruo Tobayama (the founding director of KSW)『新 水族館へ行きたくなる本』(= 『The guide to the Aqruarium)(Japanese only)
・Komichi Inoue 『シャチのラビーママになる』(=Lovey becomes mother)(Japanese Only ・・some captions on pictures were incorrect)
・TBS News 6 (February 25 2006 broadcasting)

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