Once a month, two-ton killer whale at England's Windsor Safari Park is left high and dry for a medical check-up.
Once a month, two-ton killer whale at England's Windsor Safari Park is left high and dry for a medical check-up. The whale, Ramu by name, is one of the most pampered mankillers in captivity -- as befits a mammal worth an estimated GBP 50,000.
David Taylor, the resident veterinarian surgeon at Windsor, says Ramu is the only killer whale in captivity in Europe. Hence his high value. Mr. Taylor's monthly medical check-ups are essential for keeping him healthy.
Each month a routine blood test is taken. At the same time, Mr. Taylor listens to Ramu's lungs to detect any suggestion of pneumonia and bronchitis common in whales and dolphins.
While the treatment tank is drained of water, there's also an opportunity to inspect six-year-old Ramu for any sign of skin disease and give any necessary vaccinations. If he retains his current good condition, Ramu could grow to up to 30 feet (10 metres) in length and live to an age of 25 to 30 years.