UK
14/10/2015 15:24 BST | Updated 14/10/2015 15:59 BST

Marineland Orca Dies Four Months After Mother, Following Life Of Captivity

A young orca who spent his whole life in captivity has died, just four months after the death of his mother at the same marine park.

19-year-old Valentine, riddled with health problems, passed away after extreme weather hit southern France, leaving the tourist attraction submerged in contaminated water.

His death has sparked backlash from animal rights groups, who fear the conditions will also kill the four remaining orcas.

valentin orca

A young orca has died in captivity in France

Sam Lipman, chair of Dolphinaria-Free Europe, said: "We are incredibly concerned for the four remaining orcas at Marineland Antibes, now more than ever. Over a week has gone by and the orcas are still languishing in dirty tank water.

"The facility still hasn't released any information about how it is planning to resolve this horrific situation, which has caused the deaths of many animals that it is responsible for."

Footage from earlier this month shows the mud-riddled exhibits that the animals are being kept in:

As a result of the extreme conditions, the park also lost a number of sea lions, sharks, turtles and smaller animals.

Valentine is the latest killer whale to die prematurely at Marineland Antibes, France. Thirteen in total have died, or been stillborn in the venue's history.

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Animal rights organisation WDC claimed that Valentin's captivity had lead him to suffer from a partially collapsed dorsal fin and aggressive and sexual behaviour towards trainers and other killer whales.

He'd also been burping, chewing concrete and bumping his head against tank walls and gates as well as having a skin condition on his chin.

A spokesperson from MarineLand released a statement on the issue, which read: "We experienced an extremely difficult and unprecedented situation last week and have made ​​every effort to secure the infrastructure devastated by the weather.

"We have at this time no explanation on the cause of death, we will do everything to understand. Analyses will be conducted by a team of veterinary experts."