SAN DIEGO -- An amorous 12,000-pound killer whale named Namu is recovering from surgery on its dorsal fin, maimed while he was courting a female, officials at Sea World say.
Park veterinarians performed the 'life-saving' surgery, which included amputation of about two feet of the smashed fin from the anesthetized mammal, after the whale was found bleeding in its tank.
'This surgical procedure was developed at Sea World in Florida to save the lives of endangered Florida manatees and dolphins whose extremities were entangled in fishing gear and had to be surgically removed,' Dr. Lanny Cornell said Friday.
Cornell said Namu, one of three killer whales who perform at the popular tourist attraction, was feeling well enough Friday to consume his usual 300 pounds of fish.
No one saw the mishap occur Thursday, but Cornell said the 24-foot-long whale probably injured himself during mating, or attempted mating. Park workers said Namu recently made overtures to his two female companions.