An orca calf has sadly been found dead off the coast of Canada. At this time, it is unclear where the calf has come from, although it doesn't appear to be from the Southern resident population.
Find out more: http://kval.com/outdoors/dead-baby-orca-found-washed-up-on-vancouver-island-12-30-2015
Update (15th January 2016):
The calf found dead in Canada was found to be from the Gulf of Alaska transient population, though the cause of death is still unknown.
Find out more: http://www.wireservice.ca/index.php?module=News&func=display&sid=18016
Captive orca 'Unna' has died at SeaWorld San Antonio today after suffering from a fungal infection (Candida) over the last few months.
Unna was born on 27th December 1996 to wild-caught Icelandic orcas Katina and Tilikum. In 2006, Unna gave birth to a stillborn female calf; unless Unna was artificially inseminated, the calf was inbred as Unna only lived with relatives at the time.
She was 18 years-old when she died on 21st December 2015, several days before her nineteenth birthday.
Another new calf has been born in the Southern resident orca population - this time to J-pod. The orca has been designated J54.
Find out more from the Center for Whale Research (with photo):
An orca has sadly stranded and died in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa. A necropsy is being conducted to determine the cause of death.
Update (18th December):
The necropsy has revealed its stomach contained litter, including yoghurt pots, a shoe sole and food wrappings.
Find out more: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/sad-story-emerges-of-pletts-stranded-orca-20151217
A former SeaWorld diver, who left the company in 2013, has shared her experiences of diving in the orca and other animal tanks at SeaWorld. Read here: https://www.thedodo.com/seaworld-orcas-peel-skin-off-each-other-1498617162.html
There's a new calf in the Southern resident L-pod, which has been designated L123. This is the seventh calf born to this endangered population in the last twelve months.
Find out more from the Center for Whale Research (with a fantastic photo):
Rob Lott (Whale and Dolphin Conservation) writes about his encounter with orca in Norway.
"...over the next four hours we were rewarded with an incredible encounter with 40+ orcas and 20+ humpbacks at the mouth of the fjord."
Read more about this fantastic experience (with photos): http://uk.whales.org/blog/2015/11/fjord-fiesta
"Beneath the Surface," a book by former orca trainer John Hargrove, which is a tell-all about his experiences working with captive orcas at SeaWorld (USA) and Marineland Antibes (France), has won the Goodreads 2015 Choice Awards Best Science and Technoloy category.
Find out more: https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-science-technology-books-2015