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Pilot whale arrives at SeaWorld from Japan

March 19, 2012 |  6:41 pm

Argo, the pilot whale from Japan, is helped into a pool at SeaWorld San Diego.
A 10-year-old pilot whale arrived Monday at SeaWorld San Diego from Japan where it had been in a marine park since being stranded on a beach in 2004, SeaWorld officials announced Monday.

Officials at the Japanese park felt it best for the whale, a male named Argo, to be sent someplace that has other pilot whales. SeaWorld San Diego has three: two females and a male.

The 1,200-pound, 11-foot-long Argo was flown from Tokyo to San Diego in a cargo plane and then trucked to the park on Mission Bay. The whale will be kept in a behind-the-scenes pool and introduced to the other pilot whales in the next few days.

No date has been set for when Argo will be introduced to the public.

Argo had been at Kamogawa SeaWorld -- no relation to the SeaWorld parks in the U.S. -- since soon after being found stranded on the beach 10 miles northeast of Kamogawa. Attempts by the Japanese coast guard to ease the whale back into the ocean had failed when it was was found stranded in 2004.

Because Argo has been in captivity, he is not considered a good risk to be returned to the ocean, SeaWorld San Diego officials said.


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Photo: Argo, the pilot whale from Japan, is helped into a pool at SeaWorld San Diego. Credit: SeaWorld San Diego