SeaWorld’s main attraction is its Orcas, several of which are housed in 7-million-gallon habitats that are each known as Shamu Stadium. Shamu was the name of the first female Orca brought to SeaWorld San Diego in the 1960s from the Seattle Aquarium where she was previously housed with the young male Namu. ‘”Shamu” (so-named as the “she” version of Namu) is now used as a stage name for adult Orcas in performances at SeaWorld parks. Currently, SeaWorld houses 23 killer whales in its three U.S. parks.
- Ten orcas live at Seaworld San Diego, California: Corky 2, Kasatka, Keet, Ulises, Orkid, Nakai, Kalia , Ikaika, Shouka, and the young male Makani, born to Kasatka on February 14, 2013.
Sumar died unexpectedly on September 7, 2010.
- Seven orcas live at SeaWorld Orlando, Florida: Katina, Tilikum, Kayla, Trua, Nalani, Malia and the young male Makaio born to Katina on October 9, 2010.
Taima died on June 6, 2010 from complications while giving birth to a stillborn calf. Kalina died unexpectedly on October, 4, 2010.
- Six orcas live at SeaWorld San Antonio, Texas: Kyuquot, Unna, Takara, Sakari , Tuar and a young female born to Takara on December 06, 2013.
Taku died on October 17, 2007 after being infected with the West Nile Virus transmitted by a mosquito bite, & Halyn died unexpectedly on June 15, 2008.
In addition to the 23 SeaWorld orcas housed in the 3 U.S. parks, there are 6 orcas housed at Loro Parque: Keto, Tekoa, Kohana & Skyla were sent “on loan” from SeaWorld to the Spanish marine park in the Canary Islands in February 2006. A young male Adan was born to Kohana on October 12, 2010. Victoria “Vicky” was born to Kohana on August 3, 2012 but died 10 months later on June 16, 2013. Both were fathered by Keto. Morgan, a young female rescued off the Netherland coast was transferred to Loro Parque on November 29, 2011.
In all, 37 orcas have died in captivity at SeaWorld’s 3 parks (plus 1 at Loro Parque). There have been 30 live births at the 3 parks (plus 1 at Loro Parque) …10 of which are deceased as well as 10 of their mothers and numerous unsuccessful births.
Click HERE to view The Orca Project’s collection of SeaWorld orca necropsy reports for deceased orcas
Click HERE to view The Orca Project’s collection of SeaWorld’s orca profiles (their own internal documents).
For a collection of documents from the investigation of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau’s death including autopsy report, Orange County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Report, USDA-APHIS and OSHA freedom of information act documents, click HERE.
…and be sure to read the following:
The Killer in the Pool, by Blackfish Associate Producer Tim Zimmermann- Outside Magazine, July 30, 2010- When a 12,000-pound orca named Tilikum dragged his SeaWorld trainer into the pool and drowned her, it was the third time the big killer whale had been involved in a death. Many observers wondered why the animal was still working. But some experts, knowing the psychological toll of a life spent in captivity, have posed a darker question: Was it human error, or can a killer whale choose to kill?
(read online for free) (download on iTunes) (download at Amazon)
Diary of a Killer Whale, by Tim Zimmermann- The Washington-DC based writer digs a little deeper into some of the questions surrounding the tragedy of Tilikum and Dawn Brancheau.
(read Tim’s blog online)
Blood in the Water, by Tim Zimmermann- Outside Magazine, July 15, 2011- On December 24, 2009, a 6,600-pound orca named Keto killed trainer Alexis Martínez at a marine park in the Canary Islands. Two months later, trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by Tilikum, an orca at SeaWorld Orlando. Tim Zimmermann asks: Should Martínez’s death have served as a warning about the lethal potential of killer whales being trained for our entertainment?
(read online for free) (Blood in the Water- Spanish translation)
SeaWorld posts from The Orca Project: