Whales in captivity

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WHALES In CAPTIVITY​

DO NOT SUPPORT SEAWORLD OR THE MIAMI SEAQUARIUM
Whales are highly intelligent, social, and wide-ranging creatures that have evolved to thrive in the vast expanses of the ocean.

Keeping whales in captivity, particularly in facilities like SeaWorld and Seaquarium, is a contentious issue that raises serious ethical concerns.

SeaWorld’s track record of exploiting and confining orcas is nothing short of tragic, marked by a litany of premature deaths, avoidable injuries, and the loss of a dedicated trainer. We must pay tribute to every orca torn from their ocean home during the callous captures of 1970 and 1971, condemned to a life of performing at SeaWorld and other marine parks. Additionally, we cannot forget the 28 orcas currently languishing in captivity at SeaWorld’s facilities in Orlando, San Diego, and San Antonio, as well as at Loro Parque in Tenerife, Spain.

It’s imperative that we take a stand and refuse to support SeaWorld or any other institution that profits from the exploitation of these magnificent creatures. Instead, we must urge SeaWorld to immediately implement a concrete and expeditious plan to release these animals into protected sea pens. Such sanctuaries would afford them the freedom of movement they’ve been denied, allowing them to reconnect with their natural environment, interact with wild counterparts, and engage in the behaviors inherent to their species.

Furthermore, we must advocate for the Miami Seaquarium to recognize the inherent dignity of Lolita, the sole survivor of the 1970 and 1971 captures, by relocating her to a seaside sanctuary. It’s time to afford Lolita and her fellow orcas the respect and care they deserve, allowing them to live out their days in a setting that more closely resembles their natural habitat.

By boycotting SeaWorld and advocating for the release of captive orcas to sea sanctuaries, we can play a crucial role in ending the exploitation and suffering of these intelligent and sentient beings. Let’s stand together in solidarity with the orcas, demanding justice and freedom for these magnificent creatures.

Education On THE PROCESS
Whales Do Not Just Appear in these Places and nor do they want to be there performing for you!
HEALTH​ & LIVING STANDARDS
The size of pools and what they they are confined to are like the Pools in our Back Yards!​
AWARENESS. Don’t Buy A Ticket. ​
Do Not Support these Places that Take Animals for Their natural Environment!

Confining them to small, artificial pools can lead to a host of physical and psychological issues that severely compromise their welfare.

One of the most glaring problems with keeping whales in captivity is the sheer inadequacy of the environment provided for them. The pools in marine parks are typically a mere fraction of the size of the whales’ natural habitat, offering little room for them to swim, dive, and explore. For animals accustomed to traveling vast distances in the wild, the cramped confines of a pool can be incredibly stressful and unnatural.

Moreover, the social dynamics of whales are disrupted when they are confined to small enclosures. Whales in the wild live in tight-knit family groups and form complex social bonds. In captivity, they are often separated from their natural companions and forced to interact with unfamiliar individuals, leading to social stress and conflict.

The consequences of captivity on the health and well-being of whales are well-documented. Many captive whales suffer from ailments such as dorsal fin collapse, dental issues, and skin problems, which are rarely seen in their wild counterparts. These health problems are exacerbated by the lack of space and stimulation in captivity, as well as the stress of confinement and the unnatural conditions of their environment.

In addition to the physical toll, captivity can also have profound psychological effects on whales. These highly intelligent animals are thought to experience boredom, frustration, and even depression when deprived of the stimulation and challenges of their natural habitat. Some captive whales exhibit abnormal behaviors such as repetitive circling or self-harm, which are indicative of psychological distress.

Furthermore, the capture and captivity of whales often involve cruel and inhumane practices. Many whales are taken from the wild at a young age, separated from their mothers and social groups, and transported long distances to marine parks. This process can cause immense suffering and trauma to the animals involved, as well as disrupt wild populations and ecosystems.

Given these ethical concerns, there is a growing movement to end the captivity of whales and other marine mammals for entertainment purposes. Increasingly, people are questioning the morality of keeping these intelligent and sentient beings confined for human amusement. Instead, efforts are being made to promote responsible eco-tourism and conservation initiatives that allow people to observe and appreciate whales in their natural habitat, where they belong. By respecting the intrinsic value of whales and prioritizing their welfare over entertainment, we can work towards a future where these magnificent creatures are free to roam the oceans as nature intended.

Celebrate ‘The Day of the Dead’ by Remembering Tilikum, Lolita, and Others Who Died at Marine Parks

Why are we still putting whales and dolphins in small tanks for entertainment?

Whale and Dolphin Conservation

Stop the captureEnd the demandCreate sanctuaries
Shorter lives

The death rate for captive orcas is 2.5 times higher than in the wild. Some parks give captive whales and dolphins tranquilizers to relieve the stress they are feeling, and many are on antibiotics and other treatments for chronic health issues. Tragically, life in a captive facility can mean separation from families, disruption of social bonds, and even being kept alone.

Attacks

Frustration can cause captive whales and dolphins to attack each other and sometimes trainers and members of the public. We can’t know what it feels like to be a whale or dolphin, but the individuals who have spent years in captivity display behaviors which demonstrate frustration and boredom, and even show physiological signs of stress.

Repetitive behaviors

in confinement, whales may swim endlessly in circles, lie on the floor of the tank for many hours, chew concrete and metal structures, and repeat the same patterns of behavior. Orcas kept in tanks spend most of their time swimming in endless circles, causing their tall dorsal fins to collapse to one side. Dorsal fin collapse has been observed in 1% of wild orcas. 100% of captive adult male orcas have collapsed dorsal fins.

A look at killer whales in marine parks and aquariums
Current number of known orcas in captivity: 60

This page details every killer whale that is currently in captivity. Due to the lack of information surrounding Russian capture operations, the status of some of the animals listed below may be incorrect and is subject to change. It’s possible (and highly likely) that some animals have died or been transferred to a different facility to the one listed without my knowledge. Using the small amount of information that is available, a sincere attempt has been made to provide the most accurate information.

To view photos of a certain orca simply click on the orca’s name!

NameWild Population & Ecotype OR Captive Mother / FatherSexOriginCapture/Birth DateLength at CaptureAquariumRemarks
Corky 2North Eastern Pacific
Northern Residents
​(Mother believed to be A23 Stripe)
FPender Harbor, British Columbia, Canada1969/12/11366SeaWorld San Diego, California, USACorky was about 3 years old when captured. She is a member of the Northern Resident killer whale population and is the oldest killer whale at any SeaWorld park. She has experienced 7 unsuccessful pregnancies, with no calf surviving more than 46 days. Corky measures about 19.8 feet and weighs in at around 8,500 pounds (January 2022).
KatinaNorth Atlantic
Icelandic
FSkardsfjara, Iceland1978/10/17360SeaWorld Orlando, Florida, USAKatina, also known as Kandu 6, was about 2 years old when captured. She became the first “successful” mother in captivity with her calf Kalina. She is the ruling matriarch at SeaWorld Orlando. Katina measures about 17 feet (March 2016) and weighs in at around 5,400 pounds (August 2021).
UlisesNorth Atlantic
Icelandic
MReyðarfjörður, Iceland1980/11/07400SeaWorld San Diego, California, USAUlises, sometimes spelled Ulysses, was about 3 years old when captured. He spent a long time alone in Barcelona, Spain. Ulises measures about 21 feet and weighs in at around 9,900 pounds (January 2022).
StellaNorth Atlantic
Icelandic
FSeyðisfjörður, Iceland1987/10270Kobe Suma Sea World, Hyogo Prefecture, JapanStella was less than 1 year old when captured. She is the oldest and most successful breeding female in Japan, with all 5 of her calves being live offspring. However, she was separated from all 4 of her living calves in a span of just 13 years. Stella measures about 17 feet and weighs in at around 4,850 pounds (2012).
OrkidKandu 5
Orky 2
FCaptivity1988/9/23SeaWorld San Diego, California, USAOrkid is the most aggressive killer whale in captivity with 17 aggressive incidents to her name. She is also considered to be the most intelligent. Orkid’s father, Orky 2, died three days after her birth, followed by her mother, Kandu 5, who died in August 1989 when Orkid was just 11 months old. Orkid has never had a calf of her own despite SeaWorld’s efforts to get her pregnant, which involved artificially inseminating her on numerous occasions. She measures about 19 feet (2015) and weighs in at around 7,000 pounds (March 2020).
TakaraKasatka
Kotar
FCaptivity1991/7/9SeaWorld San Antonio, Texas, USATakara is the ruling matriarch of the SeaWorld San Antonio orca pod. She’s experienced six pregnancies, but only 5 resulted in live offspring. Takara’s latest calf, Kyara, died in 2017 at just three months old. She resides with just two of her remaining calves. Takara measures about 17.3 feet and weighs in at around 4,700 pounds (May 2015).
KyuquotHaida 2
Tilikum
MCaptivity1991/12/24SeaWorld San Antonio, Texas, USAKyuquot, also known as Ky, was born at Sealand Victoria, Canada. He was transferred to SeaWorld San Antonio in 1993 along with his mother, Haida 2, following the death of Keltie Bryne. Unfortunately, Haida 2 died in 2001 and Kyuquot was involved in serious aggressive incidents in 2003 and 2004 – perhaps he was struggling to deal with the death of his mother. He measures about 22 feet and weighs in at around 9,300 pounds (March 2015).
KshamenkArgentinian mammal-eating populationMSamborombón Bay, Argentina1992/11/19Mundo Marino, Buenos Aires, ArgentinaKshamenk, pronounced Sharmenk, was about 4 years old when captured. It’s believed he was forced to strand although his captors claim they found him beached. He has lived in complete isolation from his own species since the death of his tankmate, Belen, in 2000. Recently, Kshamenk has appeared to have lost a significant amount of weight. He measures about 19.5 feet and weighs in at around 7,800 pounds (March 2005). Kshamenk is owned by the State of Argentina, not the aquarium Mundo Marino.
KeetKalina
Kotar
MCaptivity1993/2/2SeaWorld San Diego, California, USAKeet was separated from his mother, Kalina, at the age of 1 year 8 months to support her next pregnancy. He’s often targeted by more dominant animals and notoriously logs at the surface for hours on end. Keet measures about 20.6 feet and weighs in at around 8,900 pounds (January 2022).
ShoukaSharkan
Kim 2
FCaptivity1993/2/25SeaWorld San Diego, California, USAShouka was born at Marineland Antibes but was transferred to Six Flags Ohio in 2002 due to concerns she may mate with her father, Kim 2, who she was very close to. She was then transferred to Six Flags California in 2004 where she was held for eight years in complete isolation from her own species. This started to take a toll on Shouka which led to her displaying aggressive behaviour towards both her dolphin companions and her trainers. Shouka was then sent to SeaWorld San Diego on breeding loan in August 2012 where she has resided ever since. California law means she cannot be exported out of state, so she’s unlikely to see her relatives at Marineland Antibes ever again. Shouka measures about 17 feet (2015) and weighs in at around 5,200 pounds (March 2020).
KetoKalina
Kotar
MCaptivity1995/6/17Loro Parque, Tenerife, SpainKeto was separated from his mother at just three years old and shipped around the United States performing at each of SeaWorld’s parks. In 2006 he was sent to Loro Parque with 3 other young whales – one being his niece Kohana. The pair mated in 2009 and again in 2011 to produce two inbred calves – only one is alive today. In 2009 Keto attacked and killed senior trainer Alexis Martinez. Keto measures about 20.5 feet (2015) and weighs in at 8,205 pounds (March 2018).
LoveyStella
Bingo
FCaptivity1998/1/11Kamogawa Sea World, JapanLovey, also known as Oyako, became the first surviving captive born calf in Japan after 5 unsuccessful pregnancies. She has two calves of her own – Earth and Luna. Following the birth of Luna, Lovey became unusually aggressive towards Earth, leading them to becoming separated. In 2024, she gave birth to a calf sired through artificial insemination that did not survive. Lovey measures about 16.7 feet and weighs in at around 4,630 pounds (April 2013).
TuarKalina
Tilikum
MCaptivity1999/6/22SeaWorld San Antonio, Texas, USATuar was initially named Flash, but SeaWorld fans were unhappy with this choice. He was renamed Tuar in accordance with an online poll. He was separated from his mother at four years old and sent to SeaWorld San Antonio where he was involved in several aggressive incidents. Tuar measures about 19 feet (June 2014) and weighs in at around 7,000 pounds (July 2015).
TekoaTaima
Tilikum
MCaptivity2000/11/8Loro Parque, Tenerife, SpainTekoa’s mother, Taima, began displaying aggressive behaviour towards him a few months after his birth. Fortunately, Kalina took it upon herself to care for Tekoa, as well as her own calf, Tuar. Taima’s behaviour continued and the pair had to be separated permanently after several attempts to reunite the pair failed. Tekoa was one of four young whales sent to Loro Parque in 2006. His submissive nature meant he became a target of excessive aggression within the group. For several years he could be seen with prolific rake marks covering his body. In 2009, perhaps as a consequence of the social tension within the group, Tekoa viciously attacked trainer Claudia Vollhardt and inflicted serious injuries, although she escaped with her life. Tekoa measures about 18.9 feet and weighs in at 5,875 pounds (March 2018).
LaraStella
Bingo
FCaptivity2001/2/8Kamogawa Sea World, JapanLara resides with two sisters, Lovey and Ran 2, and her niece, Luna. She was separated from her mother, Stella, in 2011. Lara measures about 17,4 feet and weighs in at around 4,800 pounds (February 2016).
WikieSharkan
Kim 2
FCaptivity2001/6/1Marineland Antibes, FranceIn 2009, Wikie became the youngest whale to be successfully artificially inseminated at the age of just 8 years old. She gave birth to her first calf, Moana, in 2011. She mated with her half-brother, Valentin, soon after. This led to the birth of her second calf, Keijo, in 2013. Wikie measures about 17.1 feet and weighs in at around 4,500 pounds (August 2012).
IkaikaKatina
Tilikum
MCaptivity2002/8/25SeaWorld San Diego, California, USAIkaika was separated from his mother at four years old and sent to Marineland Canada. When his half-sister, Nalani, was born in 2004, Ikaika was sexually aggressive towards her and attempted to mate with the newborn. This contributed to the decision to move him to a different park. In November 2011 SeaWorld expressed concern over the quality of care Ikaika was receiving at Marineland so he was transferred to SeaWorld San Diego where he has resided ever since. Ikaika was brutally attacked by more dominant individuals upon arrival at the park but he eventually befriended numerous whales. Ikaika measures about 21.8 feet and weighs in at around 9,900 pounds (January 2022).
KaliaKasatka
Keet
FCaptivity2004/12/21SeaWorld San Diego, California, USADespite her young age, Kalia is one of the most dominant whales at SeaWorld San Diego. Born to Kasatka, the ruling matriarch until her death in 2017, Kalia benefitted from her mother’s high status and frequently asserted her dominance over other whales. Since her mother’s death, other whales within the pod have been less tolerant of this behaviour and she has vied for dominance with Orkid and Shouka. She measures about 16 feet (April 2016) and weighs in at around 4,800 pounds (March 2020).
TruaTakara
Taku
MCaptivity2005/11/23SeaWorld Orlando, Florida, USATrua was separated from his mother, Takara, at four years old when she was sent to SeaWorld San Antonio. Leading up to the separation, Takara and Trua were forced to spend less and less time together as part of a weaning process. Takara struggled with this and fell into a state of depression, as described by regular visitors. Trua currently resides with his grandmother, Katina, but she sustained a severe tear to her dorsal fin in 2018 following an altercation with him. Trua measures about 22.10 feet and weighs in at around 7,800 pounds (November 2022).
Ran 2Stella
Bingo
FCaptivity2006/2/25Kamogawa Sea World, JapanRan 2 was born at Kamogawa SeaWorld in 2006, though she was sent on breeding loan to Port of Nagoya Aquarium in 2011, along with her parents Bingo and Stella. During her time at Port of Nagoya Aquarium Ran witnessed the birth of her younger sister, Lynn, and the two became very close. Following her father’s death in August 2014, Ran was separated from her mother and younger sister in December 2015 and sent back to Kamogawa Sea World in exchange for Earth, her nephew. Ran 2 measures about 16.4 feet and weighs in at around 3,750 pounds (February 2016).
NalaniKatina
Taku
FCaptivity2006/9/18SeaWorld Orlando, Florida, USANalani was the first inbred calf to be successfully born in captivity. She is the product of mother-son inbreeding. Nalani has been subjected to a considerable amount of aggression in her life, beginning when she was just a newborn. Her older brothers, Taku (who’s also her father) and Ikaika, displayed aggression towards her at first, with Ikaika being sexually aggressive and even attempting to mate with her. There have been numerous occasions where Nalani has been picked on by three or four members of the pod at once, possibly because she’s inbred. Recently, Nalani has been targeting a younger female named Malia. She measures about 16 feet (July 2017) and weighs in at around 4,800 pounds (August 2021)
MaliaTaima
Tilikum
FCaptivity2007/3/12SeaWorld Orlando, Florida, USASimilarly to her brothers, Malia was subjected to aggressive behaviour from her mother, Taima. She was raked, pushed, forced to strand and pinned down by her mother which led to the pair being temporarily separated. Fortunately, Taima’s behaviour subsided when she was housed with Kalina, an experienced mother, and Taima and Malia could be reunited. Malia was sometimes housed with her father, Tilikum, who she got along well with. Unfortunately, Taima died in 2010, followed by Tilikum in 2017, making Malia an orphan. Since then, she has been the target of an older female named Nalani. Malia measures about 18.2 feet and weighs in at around 5,511 pounds (June 2022).
EarthLovey
Oscar
MCaptivity2008/10/13Port of Nagoya Aquarium, JapanWhile Earth’s mother, Lovey, took great care of him when he was her sole calf, she became unusually aggressive towards him once his younger sister, Luna, was born. Earth was viciously attacked by his mother for months on end until he was separated into a back pool with his father, Oscar. Unfortunately, Oscar died in 2012 and Earth was subjected to similar levels of aggression once he was reunited with his mother. In 2015 he was sold and transferred to Port of Nagoya Aquarium in exchange for his aunt, Ran 2, where he has resided ever since. Earth measures about 14.1 feet and weighs in at around 2,865 pounds (December 2015).
SakariTakara
Tilikum
FCaptivity2010/1/7SeaWorld San Antonio, Texas, USASakari has displayed some deeply concerning behaviours in the past such as “head-banging”. Sakari participated in this behaviour so frequently it would cause her jaw to become bloody and bruised. On one occasion she bruised her jaw so badly she stopped eating because it was too painful for her to open her mouth. Sakari measures about 14 feet and weighs in at around 3,100 pounds (July 2017). Her father is Tilikum.
MorganNorth Atlantic
Norweign
(P pod)
FWadden Sea, Netherlands2010/6/23Loro Parque, Tenerife, SpainMorgan was first sighted swimming alone in the Wadden Sea, off the coast of the Netherlands. She was captured at approximately 3 years old and brought to Dolphinarium Harderwijk to receive medical treatment for extreme starvation and dehydration. Once she had recovered, Morgan was deemed non-releasable and eventually sent to Loro Parque in Tenerife, Spain, after a year of lengthy court battles. Morgan gave birth to her first calf in September 2018, but she struggled to produce enough milk for her calf, so the pair had to be separated. She measures about 17.2 feet and weighs in at 5,195 pounds (March 2018).
MakaioKatina
Tilikum
MCaptivity2010/10/9SeaWorld Orlando, Florida, USAMakaio was born after a string of deaths at SeaWorld Orlando, including the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau and his older half sister Kalina 5 days earlier. Makaio measures about 18.2 feet and weighs in at 5,335 pounds (November 2022).
AdánKohana
Keto
MCaptivity2010/10/13Loro Parque, Tenerife, SpainAdán is one of three inbred killer whales in captivity. He is the product of uncle-niece inbreeding and was rejected by his mother shortly after his birth. Adán (Spanish for “Adam”) measures about 14.1 feet (2016) and weighs in at 2,950 pounds (March 2018).
LunaLovey
Oscar
FCaptivity2012/7/19Kamogawa Sea World, JapanLuna is the youngest orca at Kamogawa Sea World and Lovey’s second calf. Following her birth, Luna’s mother viciously attacked her older brother, Earth, who later had to be transferred. Luna measures about 7.8 feet and weighs in at around 620 pounds (November 2012).
LynnStella
Bingo
FCaptivity2012/11/13Port of Nagoya Aquarium, JapanLynn, also called Rin, was the first calf to be born at Port of Nagoya Aquarium. She is the youngest orca at the park and can be easily identified by the unique pattern of freckles on her chin. When she was 6 years old, an age where she should be fully weaned, Lynn would still head bump Stella’s underbelly, which is a precursor for nursing. Recently, Lynn has displayed head-banging behavior as a result of being separated from her nephew, Earth. She measures about 13.8 feet and weighs in at around 2,645 pounds (July 2017).
MakaniKasatka
Kshamenk
MCaptivity2013/2/14SeaWorld San Diego, California, USAMakani’s mother, Kasatka, tragically passed away in August 2017 when he was just four years old. As Makani’s mother was the matriarch, her death destabilised the San Diego pod and caused Makani to become a target for excessive aggression. Without Kasatka’s protection, Makani can often be seen with prolific rake marks covering his body. He is currently the oldest orca alive to be born through artificial insemination. Makani measures about 17.3 feet (January 2022) and weighs in at around 4,000 pounds (March 2020).
BandhuRussian TransientMSea of Okhotsk, Russia2013/8 – 2014/7Chimelong Spaceship, Guangdong, ChinaBandhu is one of nine wild-caught killer whales owned by the Chimelong Group, based in Guangzhou, China. Bandhu is an adolescent male, captured sometime between August 2013 and July 2014. He was first publicly seen in 2017 during media broadcasts revealing Chimelong’s Breeding Base. Bandhu is now on public display at the Chimelong Spaceship Theme Park in Zhuhai, China.
ChadRussian TransientMSea of Okhotsk, Russia2013/8 – 2014/7Chimelong Spaceship, Guangdong, ChinaChad is one of nine wild-caught killer whales owned by the Chimelong Group, based in Guangzhou, China. Chad is an adolescent male, captured sometime between August 2013 and July 2014. He was first publicly seen in 2017 during media broadcasts revealing Chimelong’s Breeding Base. Chad is now on public display at the Chimelong Spaceship Theme Park in Zhuhai, China.
JadeRussian TransientFSea of Okhotsk, Russia2013/8 – 2014/7Chimelong Spaceship, Guangdong, ChinaJade is one of nine wild-caught killer whales owned by the Chimelong Group, based in Guangzhou, China. Jade is approximately 14-years-old – the same age as another whale named “Garce” who was once held at the TINRO Center in Russia. It’s possible “Grace” was renamed “Jade”, but this cannot be confirmed due to lack of photo identification. Jade was first publicly seen in 2017 during media broadcasts revealing Chimelong’s Breeding Base, then again in a 2023 advertisement at Chimelong Spaceship, but has not been seen since. It’s possible she is at the breeding base, as a calf was born in approx. October 2023, but the mother was never confirmed (it is either Jade or Nukka).
KaixinRussian TransientMSea of Okhotsk, Russia2013/8 – 2014/7Chimelong Spaceship, Guangdong, ChinaKaixin is one of nine wild-caught killer whales owned by the Chimelong Group, based in Guangzhou, China. Kaixin is an adolescent male, captured sometime between August 2013 and July 2014. He was first publicly seen in 2017 during media broadcasts revealing Chimelong’s Breeding Base. Kaixin is now on public display at the Chimelong Spaceship Theme Park in Zhuhai, China.
NakhodRussian TransientMSea of Okhotsk, Russia2013/8 – 2014/7Chimelong Spaceship, Guangdong, ChinaNakhod is one of nine wild-caught killer whales owned by the Chimelong Group, based in Guangzhou, China. Nakhod is an adult male captured sometime between August 2013 and July 2014 at 8 or 9 years-old. He is on public display at the Chimelong Spaceship Theme Park in Zhuhai, China, and has sired at least one calf; a male born in April 2021 named Loki. Nakhod is ever so slightly smaller than Tyson, measuring 23 feet and weighing approximately 12,715 pounds (December 2023).
NukkaRussian TransientFSea of Okhotsk, Russia2013/8 – 2014/7Chimelong Spaceship, Guangdong, ChinaNukka is one of nine wild-caught killer whales owned by the Chimelong Group, based in Guangzhou, China. Nukka is an adult female, and is roughly the same age as another whale named “Grace” who was once held at the TINRO Center in Russia. It’s possible “Grace” was renamed “Nukka”, but this cannot be confirmed due to lack of photo identification. Nukka was first publicly seen in 2017 during media broadcasts revealing Chimelong’s Breeding Base but not seen again for several years. Nukka was finally put public display at the Chimelong Spaceship Theme Park in Zhuhai, China, in March 2024, six months after the theme park officially opened to the public. She was likely held at the breeding base prior to this, and likely gave birth to her first calf, Loki, on April 17th, 2021, although his mother has not been confirmed. It is also speculated Nukka may have given birth to a second calf in Approx. October 2023, although, again, the mother was never confirmed (it is either Jade or Nukka).
TysonRussian TransientMSea of Okhotsk, Russia2013/8 – 2014/7Chimelong Spaceship, Guangdong, ChinaTyson is one of nine wild-caught killer whales owned by the Chimelong Group, based in Guangzhou, China. Tyson is an adult male captured sometime between August 2013 and July 2014 at 8 or 9 years-old. He was first publicly seen in 2017 during media broadcasts revealing Chimelong’s Breeding Base. He is now on public display at the Chimelong Spaceship Theme Park in Zhuhai, China, and has sired three calves: Yīlóng, Katniss and Wǔlóng. Tyson may be the largest orca ever held in captivity, measuring over 24 feet long and weighing approximately 12,900 pounds (December 2023).
KeijoWikie
Valentin
MCaptivity2013/11/20Marineland Antibes, FranceKeijo is one of three inbred calves currently in captivity. His mother, Wikie, mated with her half-brother, Valentin. Some worrying behaviour was observed between Keijo and his mother in May 2014. Wikie pushed Keijo onto a slide out and refused to let him re-enter the water. Wikie likely observed this behaviour from her own mother, Sharkane, who treated her in a similar way. Keijo weighs about 330 pounds (Jan 2014).
KameaTakara
Kshamenk
FCaptivity2013/12/6SeaWorld San Antonio, Texas, USAKamea is one of two calves who were successfully conceived and born through artificial insemination using Kshamenk’s semen. As her father is an Argentinean transient, and her mother is Icelandic, Kamea, as well as her half-brother Makani, are hybrids between two different ecotypes and two different, geographically isolated populations. Kamea measures about 12 feet and weighs in at around 2,000 pounds (July 2017).
Juliet / Naja / NayaRussian TransientFRussia2014/7Moskvarium (Москвариум), Moscow, RussiaJuliet (stage name) or Naja/Naya (“real” name), previously also nicknamed Malyshka (Russian for “baby girl”), was about 4 years old when captured. Following the death of both of her tank mates, it was revealed Naja was pregnant. She gave birth to her first calf, a female, in December of 2023. Unfortunately, the calf died in January of 2024, and she has been alone since Naja measures 17.7ft (5.4 meters) and weighs 4,960 pounds (2,250kg) (Feb 2020).
MalvinaRussian TransientFRussia2015/7Seaside Dolphinarium, Nakhodka, RussiaMalvina was captured in 2015 at 3 years old along with two other orcas. There’s unconfirmed information that Malvina has escaped or died in late 2016. Malvina’s last known location has been listed, however the facility has since been demolished.
KatenkaRussian TransientFRussia2015/7Chimelong Spaceship, Guangdong, ChinaKatenka measured 19.5ft at capture suggesting she was approximately 9 years old (according to Duffield and Miller’s killer whale growth rates). She is the ruling matriarch at Chimelong Spaceship and mother to three calves: Yīlóng (the first killer whale to be successfully born in China) Katniss, and Wǔlóng. She is now on public display at the Chimelong Spaceship Theme Park in Zhuhai, China.
SonyaRussian TransientFRussia2015/7Chimelong Spaceship, Guangdong, ChinaSonya measured 13ft at capture suggesting she was approximately 3 years old (according to Duffield and Miller’s killer whale growth rates). She was first publicly seen in 2017 during media broadcasts revealing Chimelong’s Breeding Base. Sonya is now on public display at the Chimelong Spaceship Theme Park in Zhuhai, China.
“Xiàoēn”/Shawn 2Russian TransientMRussia2015Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park, ChinaShawn 2(first thought to be named ‘Goren’, now referred to by his stage name) was captured in 2015 at approximately 3 years old. He was then transferred to Dalian Laohutan Ocean Park to undergo training before his transfer to Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park in 2018.
“Pànghǔ”/ Fat TigerRussian TransientMRussia2015Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park, ChinaPànghǔ(first thought to be called ‘Wow’ and than ‘Dylan’, now referred to by his stage names) was captured from the wild in 2015 at approximately 6 years old. He was then transferred to Dalian Laohutan Ocean Park to undergo training before his transfer to Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park in 2018. He is easily recognizable as the largest orca at the park, and is a viral sensation in China as a result of his trainer’s popularity. In September of 2021, Cookie gave birth to Pànghǔ’s first confirmed calf, named Cody. He has since sired 2 calves. Pànghǔ weighs in at around 12,000 pounds (2023).
DoraRussian TransientFRussia2015Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park, ChinaDora was captured from the wild in 2015 at approximately 4 years old. She was then transferred to Dalian Laohutan Ocean Park to undergo training before her transfer to Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park in 2018. Dora gave birth to her first calf, a male, in December 2023, but failed to nurse him.
CookieRussian TransientFRussia2015Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park, ChinaCookie(first thought to be named ‘Kysails’ and ‘Annei’) was captured from the wild in 2015 at approximately 3 years old. She was then transferred to Dalian Laohutan Ocean Park to undergo training before her transfer to Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park in 2018. Cookie gave birth to her first calf on September 10th, 2021, named Cody, but failed to nurse him. In July, 2023, she gave birth to her second calf, a stillborn/miscarriage. As a result, she was paired with Cody for the first time in nearly 2 years.
No NameRussian TransientMRussia2016/8Wuxi Changqiao Ocean Kingdom, ChinaTwo orcas were transported to Wuxi Changqiao Ocean Kingdom in December 2017 following reports that two orcas were captured in August 2016. In 2023, the first footage of both orcas were leaked. They currently alive, and it’s believed they are in a temporary holding pool, owned by the park. If required, this information will be corrected as new information becomes available.
No NameRussian TransientMRussia2016/8Wuxi Changqiao Ocean Kingdom, ChinaTwo orcas were transported to Wuxi Changqiao Ocean Kingdom in December 2017 following reports that two orcas were captured in August 2016. In 2023, the first footage of both orcas were leaked. They currently alive, and it’s believed they are in a temporary holding pool, owned by the park. If required, this information will be corrected as new information becomes available.
No NameRussian TransientFRussiaUnknownSunAsia Beluga Whale World, ChinaThere are likely two female killer whales living at a holding facility for SunAsia Beluga World. They previously lived at Linyi Polar Ocean World, but were moved to SunAsia after Linyi started to have financial issues. If required, this information will be corrected as new information becomes available.
No NameRussian TransientFRussiaUnknownSunAsia Beluga Whale World, ChinaThere are likely two female killer whales living at a holding facility for SunAsia Beluga World. They previously lived at Linyi Polar Ocean World, but were moved to SunAsia after Linyi started to have financial issues. If required, this information will be corrected as new information becomes available.
YīlóngKatenka
Tyson
MCaptivity2019/4/5Chimelong Spaceship, Guangdong, ChinaYīlóng was born on April 5th, 2019 at Chimelong’s second temporary holding facility, and his birth was shown on screen for the first time in September of 2023. He is the first known captive orca to be born in China, giving him a name consisting of the number 1 in Chinese, and the world “long” from Chimelong. Yīlóng is a brother to both Katniss and Wǔlóng.
LokiNukka(?)
Nakhod
MCaptivity2021/4/17Chimelong Spaceship, Guangdong, ChinaLoki, also known as Èrlóng, was born on April 17th, 2021 at Chimelong’s second temporary holding facility. Unfortunately, he was “hand raised,” meaning he was either rejected or his mother could not nurse/care for him. Loki is Nakhod’s first known calf, and is believed to be Nukka’s son.
Cody (Fat Beans)Cookie
Pànghǔ
MCaptivity2021/9/10Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park, ChinaCookie gave birth to her first calf on September 10th, 2021, but was separated from her newborn, later named Cody, shortly after birth due to nursing failures. Cody(stage name “Fat Beans”) was hand-raised by animal care staff, and made his first public appearance on June 11th, 2022. After nearly 2 years, Cookie rejoined Cody in August of 2023 following the death of her second calf a month earlier. Cody can also be seen with another female named Dora. The three started performing together in late 2023.
KatnissKatenka
Tyson
FCaptivity2022/1/27Chimelong Spaceship, Guangdong, ChinaKatniss, also known as Sānlóng, was born on January 27th, 2022 at Chimelong’s second temporary holding facility. She was the first “second-born” killer whale in China, meaning she is Yīlóng’s younger half sister.
No NameJade or Nukka
Unknown
?Captivity2022/2-2023/11Chimelong Spaceship, Guangdong, ChinaWhen Wǔlóng’s birth was announced in December of 2023, it was reported that 5 calves have been born at Chimelong, however only 4 have been accounted for. The calf’s mother is one of two Chimelong females who have not yet been shown to the public.
“Wǔlóng”Katenka
Tyson
MCaptivity2023/12/1Chimelong Spaceship, Guangdong, ChinaKatenka gave birth to her third calf on December 1st, 2023. The calf has been nursing from his mom and has an active personality. The name “Wǔlóng” is a temporary nickname/stage name consisting of the number 5 in Chinese, and the world “long” from Chimelong.
No NameDora
Pànghǔ
MCaptivity2023/12/5Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park, ChinaDora gave birth to her first calf on December 5th, 2023. Unfortunately, she could not care for the male calf, and he had to be hand-raised. Measuring around 432 pounds and 7.9 feet at birth, the calf currently weighs in at around 595 pounds and 9.1 feet (February 2024).

Key notes:
 The information presented in this table was revised in April 2020. Some data displayed previously may have been changed in light of more accurate information.
 This data was compiled from multiple sources including the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Marine Mammal Inventory Reports (MMIRs), marine mammal publicationswebsitesbooks, newspaper and news archives, government oversight agencies and marine mammal park documents. Simply click on the hyperlinks to reveal the source.
 Emma Luck (@FlukePrintPhotography IG) provided a vast array of knowledge to help determine which wild caught orca belonged to which wild population and/or ecotype.
Whales captured in Icelandic waters have been listed as “North Atlantic Type 1” as they closely resemble this ecotype in terms of morphology and ecology – they’re smaller than Type 2s and feed primarily on fish (especially herring) but will also eat the occasional seal. In contrast, Type 2s are massive with noticeably downward-sloping eyepatches, and they’re strict mammal-eaters. However, it’s important to note North Atlantic killer whales are not as well studied as those in the North Eastern Pacific. It’s possible there is more variation and diversity than just two ecotypes (Type 1 and Type 2). It’s also possible that there’s greater diversity in Argentina but not all populations have been adequately studied. Those that have are believed to mammal-eaters so this general information has been applied to all orcas captured in the country.  
 Estimated age at capture for whales under nine years old was calculated using “Killer whale growth rate defined by Duffield and Miller” (see below).
 “Killer whale status and live-captures in the waters of the Russian Far East” by O. A. Filatova, O. V. Shpak, T.V. Ivkovich, E. A. Borisova, A. M. Burdin and E. Hoyt was used to gather information on the Russian captures in 2012 and 2013.
 Information regarding the remaining Russian captures was largely sourced from Russian Orcas (Facebook)
 Some other notable sources include “Orca – The Whale Called Killer” by Erich Hoyt, “Keto & Tilikum Express the Stress of Orca Captivity” by John S. Jett and Jeffrey M. Ventre, The Orca Project and Cetacean Cousins.


Killer whale growth rate defined by Duffield and Miller

Length in cm        Est. age in years
< 291                                < 1
291 – 328                          1
329 – 366                          2
367 – 404                          3
405 – 442                          4
443 – 480                          5
481 – 518                          6
519 – 552                          7
553 – 590                          8
591 – 628                          9

Duffield, D.A. and K.W. Miller, 1988. Demographic Features of Killer Whales in Oceanaria in the United States and Canada, 1965-1987. Rit Fiskideildar. 11: 297-306.


In Pacific whales, growth is approximately linear, at a mean rate of 38 cm/yr up to 10-12 or 12-16 years of age, for females and males, respectively. 

Want to make a difference?

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TAKE ACTION to Free Captive Orca Whales From Concrete Tanks to Seaside Sanctuaries

#1. Urge SeaWorld to Relocate Orcas to Ocean Sanctuaries

Immediately write to SeaWorld’s Chairman, hedge fund manager Scott Ross (formerly of Goldman Sachs). Why? A personal letter carries more weight than anything electronic.

Remind Mr. Ross, politely, that orcas are more than depreciating assets in a corporate balance sheet. They have minds, not just brains, and deserve better than a lingering death sentence at a Florida, Texas or California amusement park. Stranding orcas in tanks offers nothing but risk. It’s time to give them a future.

Urge SeaWord’s Chairman to commit to relocating orcas from their facilities to certified whale and dolphin sanctuaries.

Scott Ross, Chairman of the BoardSeaWorld Entertainment, Inc.
6240 Sea Harbor Drive
Orlando, Florida 32821

#2. Press the US Federal Agencies, under the Animal Welfare Act, to End the Holding of Orca Whales in Captivity

Write to Agriculture Dept. Secretary Tom Vilsack urging institution of regulations under the Animal Welfare Act to require relocation of captive orcas to certified seaside sanctuaries.

International experts in whale and dolphin health and behavior have established standards for certified seaside sanctuaries – giving captive orcas more room, more stimulation, and a greater chance of living a natural lifespan in actual seawater, without the stress of performances. Download 2023 guidelines from the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries at SanctuaryFederation.org

Secretary Tom Vilsack
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1301 Independence Avenue, S.W.,
Washington, D.C. 2025