We’re saddened by the loss of “Hundy,” a pilot whale rescued in May of 2011 during a mass stranding in the Florida Keys. You’ll remember that she had been undergoing intensive medical treatment since her arrival at SeaWorld in September 2011, including therapy to correct a dramatically misshapen spine.
We want to thank everyone who was involved in her rescue and care, including vets, experts and hundreds of volunteers in the Keys.
Hundy was being treated daily at SeaWorld Orlando for a variety of health issues that were likely associated with her stranding, most notably severe scoliosis, which developed several weeks into her initial rehabilitation period in the Keys. It is not known which of those conditions, if any, caused her to be stranded. She came ashore with 22 other pilot whales at Cudjoe Key in the Florida Keys.
She also was known as “300,” the number assigned to her during the initial rescue.
“Hundy had a special spirit,” said Mike Boos, our vice president of zoological operations, “and she surprised us many times during her long rehabilitation. She had several chronic, stranding-related health issues that our veterinary and animal care teams were managing. Through it all, she maintained a bright and enthusiastic attitude. She was an amazing animal and all of us feel privileged to have had the opportunity to care for her. The SeaWorld team is feeling a loss right now.”
Her death was sudden, considering her improvement over the last several weeks. She had demonstrated remarkable progress in her mobility, activity level and response to physical therapy sessions over the past few months. She had been doing very well and only showed signs of acute illness over the past two days. A comprehensive necropsy is being performed and results will be known in six to eight weeks.
Four other rescued pilot whales - three from a 2012 mass beaching and one from the 2011 stranding in the Keys - are currently in our care at SeaWorld Orlando.