Injured orca Nakai performs again at SeaWorld

SAN DIEGO -  

SeaWorld officials say a killer whale whose lower jaw suffered a plate-sized gash in September has returned to performing.

Spokesman Dave Koontz tells U-T San Diego Nakai's injury is 85 to 90 percent healed and he returned to performances in early December.

Nakai's return comes after federal investigators said in November that they had closed a probe into the injury caused when the whale scraped itself on a gate's track on Sept. 20.

The Department of Agriculture investigation came in response to claims from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that the wound came from other whales attacking Nakai.

PETA spokesman David Perle says it's a shame Nakai is still performing.

SeaWorld says it has fixed the tank design to avoid future injuries.

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