One of the realities for SeaWorld’s killer whales is movement from park to park. The next killer whale to be transported will be Keet, who will be shipped from SeaWorld Texas to SeaWorld California sometime early this year. I had heard some noise about Keet’s pending transport a little while back, and Candace Calloway Whiting of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer recently received a document in response to a FOIA request that indicates SeaWorld had notified the National Marine Fisheries Service sometime before Nov. 2, 2011 of its intention to move Keet.
Keet was born at SeaWorld Texas, to Kalina (and Kotar), in February 1993, and was the first second-generation marine park bred killer whale. Kalina was moved to SeaWorld Florida in 1994 (when Keet was just 20 months old), and according to his profile by 1999 Keet was increasingly abused by Haida and Ky. The profile goes on to say:
“During this time, Keet began to avoid separations into pools with the other whales by leaving control and regurgitating. Keet continues to be the subdominant whale, regardless of the social structure. He has on occasion been raked by other whales to the point where he will shiver.”
Keet was moved to SeaWorld California in November 1999, and bounced around a bit between SWC and SeaWorld Ohio before returning to SeaWorld Texas in 2004. By all accounts, he is a reliable and consistent killer whale when it comes to working with trainers and performing. But he continues to be a subdominant whale who struggles in the social order, and has the scarring to show it. His situation, I have heard, is comparable to that of Tekoa in Loro Parque.