Skip to content

Appendix B- Kalina Profile (1994)

The Sea World of Texas (SWT) document (represented in this Appendix) was provided to SWF trainers in October of 1994.  It is the biopsychosocial profile of Kalina, the original Baby Shamu.  As the first successful birth of an orca at a theme park, she ushered in the modern age of killer whale captivity.

Appendix B- Kalina on Center Stage

Kalina on Center Stage

Kalina’s survival demonstrated the minimal spatial requirements needed for successful nursing behavior(s).  Her premature death reminds us that even the best facilities cannot replicate life in the open ocean.  Kalina died at the age of 25 from acute bacterial septicemia.  It is not known how bacteria entered her bloodstream.

1.0. # SWF-Oo-8501



  • Kalina (Orcinus Orca)
  • Sex:  Female
  • Born:  9/26/1985
  • Length:  16.9 ft.
  • Weight:  4444 lbs. (10-14-1993)

Differentiating Characteristics

  • Prominent lower jaw
  • Clean, smooth skin
  • Hook shaped dorsal fin slight lean to the left with notch towards base of fin
  • Dark markings on roof of mouth
  • Two freckles on right side of face Lower front two teeth slightly worn

Secondary Reinforcers

  • Fish play
  • Water hose on top of head Water jet play
  • Tongue and mouth tactile Body tactile
  • Socialization with other whales Overall play
  • Variable feed
  • Bucket pour
  • Toys
  • Visual stimulation
  • Learning new behaviors
  • Show sequence/environmental changes Object retrieval
  • Chew rope
  • Floating disc
  • Cart follow with fish toss
  • Kelp
  • Barrel (under supervision)

Finds Aversive

  • Major environmental and social changes
  • Unclear/confusing situations
  • Divided attention
  • Long term separation
  • Pulls away from tactile from strangers

Aggressive Tendencies

When excited or confused, she may slide over, push or bow over her trainer in the water.

Will aggressively and physically displace less dominant whales when frustrated, confused or sees an imbalance in attention.


Kalina Profile Original SWT Document 1994 thumbnail

Click on Thumbnail to see Original Kalina Profile from SWT (PDF)

Kalina was the first killer whale calf born at Sea World of Florida on September 26, 1985.  She was born to Katina and fathered by Winston.  On February 2, 1993 she bore a male calf (Keet) fathered by Kotar.  She has demonstrated good “mothering” skills without being overprotective.  She did exhibit some aggression towards trainers for a short period (two weeks following the birth) when attempting to get her to start eating.  She would displace the calf during water work if the trainer was attempting to give too much attention to the calf.

Kalina was transferred from Florida to Ohio on February 12, 1990.  She was then transferred from Ohio to California on October 13, 1990.  She was next transferred from California to Texas on May 30, 1991.  Her next transfer was from Texas to Florida on October 29, 1994.

She responds very well to a wide array of interactions, learning and creativity. She does have a short attention span appearing to have difficulty relaxing or becoming distracted during quiet relationship sessions. She does not seem to enjoy interacting with new people and will show discriminatory behavior, although nothing to excess. This also holds true during training sessions. Progress is at its most efficient when a minimum of trainers work with her to insure consistent criteria. Being motivated more by secondary reinforcers than food, she regularly solicits attention from trainers. Since her energy and excitability level runs high, it is important during both land and water sessions to have fun, but to concentrate on keeping her calm and controlled.

Kalina is a consistent animal. Uncooperative behavior from her arises due to social situations with other whales, either initiated by her or from signals from the others. Uncooperative behavior also occurs during heavy show schedules which manifests into tight, aggitated behavior and very obvious incorrect responses to Sd’s. She has a negative history with nets and has swam into them.

Kalina Profile

Kalina’s past history with toys during playtimes has shown extreme excitement to borderline “aggression.” Since she has shown similar excitement during waterwork, her interactions with toys has been reduced. If given a toy, it should be closely monitored. This “aggressive tendency” has diminished significantly over the past two years. Her assertive tendencies had been seen mostly during waterwork. Aggression involves anything from slight bumping or sliding over her trainer to a complete bow over her trainer. The last episode of a “swim over” occurred in 1992. Her history states she has opened her mouth on trainers, yet this behavior has not been observed during the past few years. Her aggression has been decreasing due to concentration on controlling her excitability and frequent rewards for calmness and acceptance of the situation or mistakes. Her calls to stage and water desensitization are always stressed and rewarded with primary on a high ratio.

Appendix B: Kalina and Trainer during performance

Kalina and Trainer during performance

Click HERE to Open/View/Print the Complete Report and Appendices (PDF)
%d bloggers like this: