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More SeaWorld Orca Pregnancies?

November 21, 2011

Earlier today, I got confirmation that Kohana, at Loro Parque, is pregnant. Here is a recent photo showing her gravid profile:

Kohana, on the right, showing her growing girth.

Now I am also picking up whispers that SeaWorld’s Kasatka and her daughter Takara are also pregnant, via Artifical Insemination (AI) that was conducted over the summer. The donor: Kshamenk, an Argentinian killer whale.

Kasatka is a 34-year old female at SeaWorld San Diego. She was captured off Iceland in 1978, when she was about one year old, and in 2000 became the first SeaWorld female to be artificially inseminated (with sperm from Tilikum). That pregnancy led to the birth of Nakai, who is still at SeaWorld San Diego. Kasatka is also the mother of Takara (born in 1991 and now at SeaWorld San Antonio), and Kalia (born in 2004 and still at SeaWorld San Diego).

Kasatka has a history of aggressive incidents with trainers, and in 2006 dragged trainer Ken Peters repeatedly to the bottom of the pool. Trainers have not been allowed to swim with her since.

Kasatka During Her Waterwork Days

Takara, Kasatka’s daughter, is the mother of Kohana, who was born in 2002 (and if she successfully carries her current pregnancy to term will have given birth twice before she turns 13). Takara is also the mother of Trua (born in 2005 and now at SeaWorld Orlando), and Sakari (born last year and still at SeaWorld San Antonio).

Takara On Stage

The use of sperm from Kshamenk, a killer whale who was captured in Argentina in 1992 and now lives at Buenos Aires’ Mundo Marino, is a new wrinkle in SeaWorld’s captive orca breeding program. A majority of SeaWorld’s killer whales have Tilikum’s genes, and there has been a lot of concern about a genetic bottleneck within SeaWorld’s breeding pool. Training Kshamenk to give sperm donations, and using his sperm to impregnate Kasatka and Takara adds completely distinctive Argentinian killer whale DNA to the SeaWorld sperm pool.

Kshamenk lives alone at Mundo Marino:

28 Comments leave one →
  1. Karen Jancek permalink
    November 21, 2011 5:59 pm

    That was just sickening to watch…..breaks my heart to see such a large, social animal that travels hundreds and hundreds of miles per day stuck in such tiny pools……..Who the hell gave us this right?! This is abuse…………

    • November 21, 2013 6:34 pm

      Please EVERYONE….go to Change.org….they have petitions going to save all the Seaworld whales…what that mean, I don’t know. But anything is better than what is going on over there at Seaworld!!!!!

      • Karen Jancek permalink
        November 21, 2013 10:30 pm

        I am Karen Jancek and I do not believe I wrote this statement!!! Can u show me where u found this?!

        Sent from my iPad

  2. Barbara Eno permalink
    November 21, 2011 7:31 pm

    I can’t believe no one is doing a damn thing about these so called marine parks!!! this is sickening…I really wish the government would stop being greedy and get these animals back where they belong!

  3. Fabiana permalink
    November 21, 2011 9:59 pm

    I just can’t believe the guy feeding them, calls the dolphin “asquerosa” and “puta” Asquerosa (disgusting) and puta (whore) is the whore who gave him birth!

    • November 22, 2011 2:14 pm

      If you think Lolia’s situation is bad, you need to see these videos. Kshamenk’s home makes Lolita’s tank look like the Waldorf Astoria. His two tanks are smaller than her’s. Her holding tank is so small. I’ve seen a billion human swimming pools which are much bigger. She can’t even stretch out because the pool isn’t long enough. She spends her day floating around coming up for air every two seconds. Both the performance tank and her holding tank have scum all over the top. I have no idea what it is, why it’s there, why it’s there, why it’s tolerated & what effect it may have on the animals. There was a trainer watching Kshamenk lamenting the fact that this poor thing seems unhappy & surely depressed.Trainer’s talked about Keiko with seeming disdain; asking how he died and dismissing the cause as if it was completely expected. Those were the only kind words I heard from anyone about him. I have never seen anything like it. I did hear that there is a growing movement to set him free. That’s just about the best thing I heard the entire time.

      • November 21, 2013 6:36 pm

        please go to change.org….sign the Petitions….Let start a revolution!!! Its about time!!!

  4. November 22, 2011 2:16 pm

    Oops I always make these mistakes I meant HE can’t stretch etc….

  5. November 22, 2011 6:28 pm

    With the precedents Sea World and Loro Parque have set for breeding females at extremely young ages and breeding them frequently it’s quite worrisome what Morgan may go through since she is so valuable to their very small gene pool; as the more calves they can get out of her before she dies the better. The fact she is being placed in probably the worst social group possible to learn mature well and be a good mother is also worrisome.

    If Kohana rejects this calf to (which is likely considering nothing has changed, including her behavior around the other orcas) this could make a huge mess. Not only are these rapid pregnancies at this very young age very stressful on Kohana physically; they could reinforce her current behavior and make it difficult for her to bond with and raise any calf she has later on.

    It would also leave them with these two groups, adults and young (with Morgan), that they cannot keep together permanently unless something radical changes in the current behavior of the adults soon. This will be a huge strain on the staff: raising another calf by hand, caring for and training Morgan and Adan, and giving the adults the attention they need while also doing shows. This would be extremely taxing on even the most experienced staff of people, and from what both Tim has been reporting, and Sea World has been saying in court, the staff there are of questionable experience and competency.

    Who knows, maybe they didn’t want Kohana to get pregnant again so soon but in the strain of caring for Adan they weren’t able to pay enough attention to Kohana’s cycling. Whatever the reason, it’s very irresponsible on their part and not excusable for putting a dangerous amount of strain on Kohana and risking that another calf will have to be hand reared. If they can’t properly manage and care for them all then they shouldn’t be keeping them and breeding them in the first place.

    • November 29, 2011 4:43 am

      They should NOT be keeping them and breeding them in the FIRST place! To understand the nightmare they are creating with the genepool is beside the point of the kidnapping and captivity in small pools and the solitary confinement of too many of the poor souls.

    • January 21, 2013 3:08 pm

      Morgan should not be in Loro Parque and my hope is that somebody will bring this before the European Courts and sues the hell out of Loro Parque. Violation after violation – starting with Seaworld’s associate Dolfinarium Harderwijk violating their rescue permit.
      Aren’t they desperate to bring fresh blood into the ever-diminishing gene pool of Seaworld captive orca. At the risk of sounding awful, one almost wishes that all the lonely captive male orca may have a quick death, to put a stop to this insane breeding frenzy which is wrong a pure animal torture.

  6. November 24, 2011 8:41 pm

    Who is your source for this information?

  7. November 29, 2011 4:38 am

    To see them in those tiny pools and to know that that’s it for them for life is just to hard to bear. I don’t know how those trainers can say that they love the orca and dolphins and then see them everyday like that. Sickening!!! Sad, sad, sad situation!

  8. Paulien permalink
    December 19, 2011 11:53 am

    As long as people buy the tickets, this will exist. Everyone wants to see these magnificant creatures….not caring about the circumstances they live in at those parks. As long as they can see them and have a nice day. Is there a lot of educating to do…sigh…

  9. Gisela permalink
    December 27, 2011 9:16 pm

    Who is your source on the pregnancies since you dont work at either sea world california nor mundo marino.

    • timzimmermann permalink*
      December 28, 2011 7:45 am

      Apologies, but I don’t discuss sources.

      • January 22, 2012 11:31 am

        If you can’t give sources, you shouldn’t post this stuff. This entire website is painfully uncredible.

      • anon permalink
        January 22, 2012 12:57 pm

        Without sources we have to assume it is a rumor.

      • timzimmermann permalink*
        January 22, 2012 8:17 pm

        Often sources who provide information do not want to be identified. Readers are free to believe my reporting, or not, based on how they perceive the accuracy of the reporting I have done previously.

  10. Josie permalink
    June 24, 2012 11:24 am

    Lolitas show tank is smaller but her holding tank is larger, bit live in pathetic situations, poor babies <3

  11. Orcinus2 permalink
    October 21, 2012 4:48 pm

    The trainers will give their life for them! THEY LOVE THEM! They never abuse them. Y’all aren’t the owner of seaworld, or the trainers. You do not stay every hour of the day with them! Trainer and orca share a magical bond. Leave them alone.

    • October 21, 2012 7:16 pm

      It’s true that the trainers are very dedicated to the well-being of the orcas. And it’s also true that the one thing that bothers the trainers I speak with more than anything else is the relentless breeding and impregnation of the female orcas.

    • OrcaLuvr'09 permalink
      January 22, 2013 6:16 pm

      <3 that relationship! However, I was shocked to see the tank at mundo marino! I'm procap but this is HORRIBLE! :(

    • November 21, 2013 6:40 pm

      idiot….is that why Tilikum killed his trainer….idiot

  12. Kat Perkins permalink
    February 2, 2014 12:39 pm

    I am shocked to see such a large mammal being kept in a pool that it clearly too small and with no protection from the elements. He needs moving to proper accommodation for his size!

Trackbacks

  1. Kayla Next Up For Pregnancy? « Tim Zimmermann
  2. SeaWorld’s Busy Year – a 2011 Timeline | Gini's Nature News
  3. SeaWorld, Japon, Europe : petits crimes entre amis ! | Free Dolphins Belgium

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