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CLACTON KILLER WHALES

From 1971 to 1985, Reg Bloom operated the "North Sea World Training Dolphins School" at The Pier in Clacton on Sea in Essex, which consisted of an outdoor former swimming pool. Although used for storing dolphins, Bloom's Dolphins School was also a training establishment, with many animals spending time there during transit from one venue to another. Bloom was also involved in the capture, purchase and transportation of dolphins for other owners, including Sir Harmar Nicholls' aquagirls revue in Oxford Street. In 1969, he went off to the Florida Keys to catch dolphins with Jerry Mitchell, and five animals which managed to survive capture and transport ended up at Windsor Safari Park, then owned by the Billy Smart organisation. Later residents of Bloom's Clacton pool included three young killer whales, Nemo, Neptune, and another unnamed male, owned by the International Animal Exchange. They had been wild-caught from the same pod in October 1981 by Helgi Jonasson's animal-dealing company in Iceland, Fauna. Languishing in the seaside pool awaiting sale, their plight aroused the attention of Greenpeace which subsequently launched a campaign to 'Free The Clacton Three.' But within days - and only two months after they were fished out of the sea - the anonymous male died of traumatic shock following severe injury to its abdominal wall and kidneys, either caused by a transit accident, attempted suicide, or by the aggression of his brothers in the sloping 2.40m-3.20m deep former swimming pool. Neptune died 18 months afterwards of peritonitis, leaving Greenpeace with a campaign called "Free The Clacton One." There is speculation that two of the three whales were sold in bad health, unknown to the buyers, this is a possible reason for the tragic death of the unknown whale during transport. 

 

Reg Bloom was a practitioner in the art of dolphin training, with almost a quarter of a century of experience to draw upon. Formerly director of Don Robinson's Flamingo Park in Yorkshire, Bloom was a consultant to the same amusement park-cum-zoo, re-christened Flamingo Land by its new proprietor in 1978. He was also joint-owner with his son, Peter Bloom, of Dolphin Services, an off-shoot of Bloom U.K. which supplied dolphins under contract to various establishments - including Flamingo Land where Peter Bloom was a dolphinarium manager and head trainer. Having worked at Clacton and Windsor, Hong Kong, and two dolphinaria in Spain, Peter Bloom has accumulated over eleven years of experience in the industry, and was even commissioned to set up from scratch a dolphinarium in Manila, from designing the pool and having dolphins caught in Taiwan, to staff and animal training.

Nemo, as with the dolphins did like a game of football, trainers & staff often had a kick about with him, it is not known who was the better footballer! 

Before Nemo there was a killer whale called Suzie Wong (aka Hoi Wai) who arrived at Clacton in August 1978 for a short stay, she shared the pool with Squeak the dolphin and was trained by Reg Bloom and then she went off to Windsor Safari Park and then on to Hong Kong.

Susie was aqquired from Ingolfshofdi in Iceland October 1977.
She passed away 21st April 1997 after being captive for 19 years 6 months.
Her last weight was 4,400 Ibs (1,996 kgs) & length 17ft (5.2 metres)

CLICK ON IMAGES FOR A CLOSER LOOK

CLACTON KILLER WHALES VIDEOS

Footage of Suzie Wong the first Killer Whale on Clacton Pier with trainer Reg Bloom. This was a feature for About Anglia TV news report, this was filmed about a week after Bubbles the dolphin died after swallowing a child's toy windmill, this was one of the first shows Squeak put on after her playmates death.

Nemo & Neptune swimming in & out of their isolation area with Nemo out in the big pool to perform one of his shows.

Nemo the killer whale putting on a show with his trainer Peter Bloom, the lucky crowd was treated to a 20 minute show full of facts and fun.

Nemo displaying his grace and beauty with abit of football thrown in for good measure.

Tommy Boyd doing a TV report on Evelyn, a young girl who was doing sponsored walks to raise money for Greenpeace to help buy Nemo the Killer Whale. She was presented with a Nemos Freedom Share certificate & raise £19.75. Brilliant footage of her meeting Nemo on Clacton Pier & Tommy has a bit of a mishap caught on film at the end!

An in depth report on Nemo the Killer Whale at Clacton, including some history on captive whales, reported by Tony Soper.

MOVING NEMO FROM CLACTON TO WINDSOR

MOVING NEMO VIDEOS

Moving Nemo from Clacton Pier to Windsor - PART 1 (26th June 1985)

Moving Nemo from Clacton Pier to Windsor - PART 2 (26th June 1985)

Moving Nemo from Clacton Pier to Windsor - PART 3 (26th June 1985)

Nemo on Clacton Pier (TV-am, Breakfast TV)

Moving Nemo from Clacton Pier to Windsor - PART 4 (26th June 1985)

Nemo from Clacton performing at Windsor (ITV Splash Show - 1987)

Nemo on Clacton Pier (BBC Look East)

Nemo at Clacton Pier (News at Ten)

Nemo 
Male 
Icelandic 
Estimated year of birth: 1980 
Captured 10/1981 at Selvogsbanki, Iceland 
Held at Sædyrasafnid, Iceland and then Clacton Pier, UK until 06/1985 
Measurements at death: 15 feet (4.6 meters) 2,370 pounds (1,075 kilograms) 
Died on 11/17/1986 at Windsor Safari Park 
Captive time: 5 years 1 month 
Cause of death: Cancer of the Bone Marrow

Nemo was removed from Clacton Pier on 22nd June 1984 after he outgrew his pool and moved to Windsor Safari Park, but not without mishap. Nemo the length and weight of an average family car posed some problems to his transporters. It took four attempts to get him into a specially designed stretcher to take him the deeper pool at Windsor Safari Park. Then the crane being used to lift Nemo into a specially designed foam crate crashed through part of the Clacton Pier causing a three hour delay. 

Finally Nemo, smothered in lanoline, arrived at his new home. The excitement caused by his arrival in a holding pool cause a dolphin in the next pool to give birth prematurely to her baby. Windsor Safari Park officials were hoping that he would 'hit it off' with their female killer whale Winnie.

Nemo was at Clacton Pier for 3 years.

DOLPHINS        KILLER WHALES        SEA LIONS        DOLPHINARIUM        PIER HISTORY