Guests visiting SeaWorld Orlando over the last few weeks have noticed one of the killer whales was suffering from what looked like a nasty injury. The whale injured was a female, Katina, and SeaWorld has released details about the injury.
On Saturday, March 17th the matriarch of the SeaWorld Orlando orca pod, Katina, sustained an injury at the base of her dorsal fin as the result of interactions with other members of the orca pod. The SeaWorld veterinary and animal care teams responded immediately to conduct a full exam on Katina, where they determined the injury was isolated to the base of her dorsal fin. Her behavior is already back to normal, and over the next several weeks the veterinary and animal care teams will continue to monitor and treat her wounds, including topical honey treatments and cold-laser therapy.
The veterinary and animal care teams at SeaWorld Orlando are monitoring and treating Katina’s wound, including utilizing cold-laser therapy and medical honey treatments to promote healing and help prevent infection.
Medical honey is toxin-free and sterile and promotes wound healing and helps kill bacteria. Similarly, cold-laser therapy also promotes healing and helps prevent a secondary infection. Dolphins and whales are excellent wound healers, so the primary purposes of her treatments is to prevent a secondary infection.
Katina is currently in a separate pool with her daughter, Nalani, and son, Makaio, so she can rest and allow her dorsal fin to begin healing. Her behavior has returned to normal and she is responding to her trainers. It is thought Katina’s dorsal fin will heal but have permanent changes as a result of the injury.
It’s not clear exactly how she sustained the injury but Katina was near Trua, a 12-year-old male, at the time and interacting with several members of the orca pod too.