Tilikum, 35-year-old male at SeaWorld Orlando, is our largest killer whale. He weighs about 11,700 pounds and is more than 22 feet long. Corky, a 50-year-old female at SeaWorld San Diego, is the largest female. She is 19 feet long and weighs more than 8,000 pounds.
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Our killer whale habitats are among the largest in the world. SeaWorld San Antonio’s killer whale habitat is 36 feet deep and holds more than 4.5 million gallons of continually chilled and filtered salt water. SeaWorld is among the world’s most respected zoological institutions, regularly inspected by the U.S. government and two professional zoological associations. According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, SeaWorld is “meeting or exceeding the highest standard of animal care and welfare of any zoological organization in the world.”
And, our habitats are about to get even bigger. Read more here.
Yes, we have conducted genetic testing on these whales that showed they are not related.
Tilikum gets along very well with Trua, his grandson. He is not aggressive with the other whales.
We actually did have a ShamuCam at SeaWorld San Diego for many years, though it was discontinued in 2013. The Blue World Project includes plans for video cameras in the killer whale habitats.
Shamu was the name of the first killer whale to ever live at SeaWorld. She died in 1971, but Shamu was so popular that we made it a stage name. So, every killer whale at SeaWorld has a name, though you’ll still hear “Shamu” in our shows. The name is so popular it’s even what we call the habitat: Shamu Stadium. Please do bring your 4-year-old. If he loves dolphins, SeaWorld is definitely the place for him.
Lagos exhibited no signs of injury or illness. The day prior to his death, he showed a reluctance to eat. The preliminary cause of death is pneumonia, but the definitive findings won’t be known until final necropsy results are returned. Lagos was born at SeaWorld Orlando in 2007. The team that cared for Lagos mourns this loss, and we appreciate your support during this difficult time.
Thanks for watching! We have 102 chinstrap penguins at SeaWorld: 82 at SeaWorld San Antonio and 20 at SeaWorld Orlando.
We have heard from countless guests who were inspired to care for the environment and animals after their visit to SeaWorld, including careers in research, science, conservation and teaching. We also receive answers from kids and families who have been inspired to do more to care for the environment. Here is just one example of a teen who visited us as a child and is now making a difference in his school.
There are a variety of ways that we come up with names for our killer whales and other animals at the parks. Sometimes we name them after their mother and father, like Orkid – combined from her father, Orky, and her mother, Kandu. We often take input from trainers, animal care and other staff, and sometimes our fans get to vote for their favorite name. Many of the killer whale names have special meaning, like Unna, which means “to love and adore” in Icelandic, and Ikaika, which is Hawaiian for “strength.”
With our rescued animals, they are initially given a number since our hope is to return them to the wild. If an animal is deemed non-releasable and the government decides that SeaWorld is to provide long term care, we give them a name. We also name the rescued manatees we return to the wild for tracking purposes. Some animals are named based on where they were rescued, like Charlotte the manatee. She was rescued as an orphan calf in 1985 from Charlotte Harbor, FL and deemed conditionally non-releasable. She is currently in good health and weighs about 2,750lbs. She shares SeaWorld Orlando’s manatee exhibit with Sara, rescued from Sarasota, and Oakley, rescued from Oak Hill.
Sadie’s calf, Bodie, was born in October 2014 at SeaWorld San Diego. Bodie’s father was Bodine. Bodine was 28 years old when he died in 2014. Bodine was not only a favorite dolphin of his trainers, but helped inspire millions of park guests to care about dolphins. He was fun to work with and enjoyed rub downs from his trainers.
Claire and Pierre are doing great! At this time Claire no longer is receiving veterinary care and will soon begin the process of being introduced to Pelican Preserve for long term care. Pierre is growing strength and our team is currently looking for a rehabilitation facility that offers slow release. Slow release essentially means Pierre will be able to decide if and when he wants to leave the facility.
Click here to learn more about Claire and Pierre’s rescue story.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ cares for one of the largest animal collections on the North American continent. We care for approximately 86,000 animals, including 8,000 marine and terrestrial animals and 78,000 fish.
These are the facts about SeaWorld that activists don’t want you to see. Watch this video as trainers, veterinarians and other zoological professionals set the record straight:
Our “biggest” success story for a rescue would have to be JJ the gray whale! After a successful rehabilitation, she weighed a healthy 19,000 lbs – that’s 9.5 tons! But she didn’t weigh that much when she was rescued.
When she was rescued from a California beach and brought to SeaWorld in 1997, she weighed just 1,670 pounds. Severely dehydrated and malnourished, SeaWorld animal care specialists and veterinarians worked around the clock to stabilize her. Over the next 14 and a half months, the park’s animal experts nursed her back to health. She grew rapidly, gaining an average of 39 pounds a day during her rehabilitation. Her presence at SeaWorld was a source of pride for the park’s animal rescue team, but it was also a unique opportunity for researchers from around the world to study this species. On March 31, 1998, JJ became the largest animal successfully rehabilitated and returned to the wild, weighing a healthy 19,000 pounds.
No. We support any environmental organization that works to conserve imperiled wildlife and recognizes the great value in education, conservation, research and animal rescue of accredited zoological institutions like SeaWorld and Busch Gardens. Greenpeace does not.
We work with all the whales, including Tilikum, in the pools fitted with specialized lifting floors.
We’ve trained Tilikum to enter the medical pool so we can provide the proper husbandry and veterinary care for him and that is an essential part of his overall care. Working with the raised lifting floors in this pool also allows us to provide positive reinforcement like rubdowns for him.
If you are referring to the whistle or underwater tone you might hear, these are used in the same way as a clicker used when people train pets or other animals. In animal training, positive reinforcement must immediately follow the behavior in order to be effective. A delay of even a few seconds may accidentally reinforce the wrong behavior. But, it’s not always possible to instantly reinforce an animal during training – it may be across the pool from the trainer. The trainer must have some other way to communicate to the animal that it has performed correctly. They use a signal.
This audio signal is called a bridge signal. The bridge signal “bridges” the gap of time that occurs between the desired training behavior and its reinforcement. The bridge signal varies with species. For whales and dolphins, the bridge is usually a whistle, underwater tone, or a light touch. For sea lions, walruses, and river otters the word “okay” or a light touch is used as a bridge. For birds, the word “good” is often used.
Read more here.