According to the results of the autopsy performed by the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kyungbook National University (Korean) late in the evening of February 27th, 2017, UD-9—the “name” given to the dolphin—died of bronchial pneumonia caused by the Morganella morganii bacteria, which was found in its lungs and bronchial tubes. It is surmised that the infection caused bleeding which led to the dolphin’s death.

Morganella morganii usually inhabits the intestines as part of the normal gut flora in mammals. It is an opportunistic bacteria, meaning that in organisms with a healthy immune system, there is no danger, but in individuals with a debilitated immune system, serious and sometimes fatal infections can occur.

Based on what we observed directly, the container used to transport the dolphins from Osaka was very polluted and did not allow the water to be circulated. Both dolphins had to endure this for 31 hours, unable to move.

Coupled with the stress of their capture, this long transportation in unsanitary conditions would have caused a significant amount of stress, which would have seriously debilitated their immunity. Under these conditions, it is reasonable to accept that an opportunistic infection such as Morganella morganii could have lead to the death of UD-9.

However, Jangsaengpo Special Whale Culture Zone blames the death solely on the pre-existing health condition of the dolphin. The staff take no responsibility for the shocking conditions under which the dolphins were transported, and offer no apology. Instead, they focus on hiding the condition of the surviving dolphin, UD-10.

We demand that Jangsaengpo Special Whale Culture Zone take full responsibility for the death of UD-9, and that they reveal the health condition of the surviving dolphin UD-10.

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