RIP RONDA, another victim of cancer and pollution.

Today I have really sad news, yesterday our sea lion Ronda passed away.

Yesterday morning everything seemed to be normal with Ronda, she didn’t eat all of her fish but her health has going up and down since she came to ORCA. We have tried to treat every clinical sign she have shown and she have respond to the treatment and seemed to be recovering, but as soon we stopped, she has got problems again, with heavy breathing, hunger strike, stomach problem and dehydration. This morning we were about to give her extra fluids because the heat seemed to affect her. When we were doing this she suddenly stopped breathing, one second she was there and the next she was just gone. We tried to wake her up again but she did not come back. Everyone was chocked and sad and we could not understand what just happened.

We took Ronda to the sea lion graveyard beach. We wanted to bury her and do a necropsy to find out the cause of her sudden death. Her problem had been invisible for the eyes, her lungs were namely filled up with cancer.  It was nothing we could have done for her and it’s a miracle  she has been holding on for this long.

Ronda was just one year old and she had her whole life in front of her. She is the youngest victim ORCA has found with cancer and she probably got it from exposure to plastic and pollution in the ocean.  Every year the rate of cancer cases found by ORCA increases and the victims are getting younger and younger.  If this is happening to the marine mammals what will happen to us humans next?

The fact that Ronda despite all the care and effort we put in for her,  never going to go back to the ocean is really hard and sad to take. The reason she stayed alive as long as she did is probably because of us. I hope that her death at least can make us aware of what is happening to the ocean right now.

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Rest in peace Ronda

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