Sunday, 17 November 2019


about the blog.
Welcome to Okeanos blog, a place for my personal cetacean experiences, and updates about the captive orca population. Okeanos was originally created in 2009, but became neglected. In the summer of 2013, I started up Okeanos again to make it what you see before you now.
~ Profiles on all living captive orcas can be found on the bar on right.
~ Listings of the captive orcas birthdays can be found here.
~ A selection of significant events in the captive orca industry can be found here.
~ The names and locations of all captive orcas that have since passed away can be found here.
~ A family tree of the captive orcas can be found here.

about me.
At the age of 10 after a trip to Florida I became very interested in Dolphins and Cetaceans, and complied profiles about every single species. My interest became further directed towards Killer Whales, and after a trip to Marineland Canada in August 2003, I created my own website named Friend of the Orcas. The website ran for a few years, having many versions and a it's own domain once. When I hit my teenage years, I abandoned the website, but my love for Killer Whales didn't diminish and I still made sure to visit a park there were held ever year. To date I have visited Marineland Canada x2, SeaWorld Florida x2, SeaWorld California x 3, Six Flags Vallejo, Loro Parque x 2 and Marineland France x7.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Tribute to Tilikum

On 6th January 2017, another orca life was lost in captivity – that life being Tilikum. Tilikum rose to infamy after he killed SeaWorld trainer Dawn Branchaeu on 24th January 2010. Makers of the film Blackfish (2013) used him as the subject to expose the controversy of keeping killer whales in captivity. Despite Tilikum being involved in three human deaths, SeaWorld regarded him a valuable orca due to his high reproductive success. Tilikum fathered 21 of SeaWorld’s calves, creating a highly imbred captive orca gene pool, due to the lack of genetic diversity formed from over-using Tilikum's genes.
Although he was a highly ‘prized’ whale, he did not live an A-Lister life. During his time at his first captive home at SeaLand of the Pacific, Tilikum was bullied by tank-mates Haida 2* and Nootka 4*, and forced to share the same space as them. Then at his second park, he was also treated with aggression by dominant females. As a result, Tilikum spent the majority of his time in isolation, living a lonely life with only small amounts of stimulation by the trainers.
Even though Tilikum took away 3 lives, no one can really blame him, because it was most likely the confinement of his environment that lead him to behave in this way. Tilikum only spent 3 short years of his life in the wild before he was taken into the imprisonment of captivity. Had Tilikum never been captured, he would have lived a life with his mother and other family members, probably surpassed the age of 36, and never harmed a human in his life.

In another life Tilikum. May you rest in peace. At least the loneliness has stopped now.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

my views

my views.
My stance on Killer Whales in captivity is a complicated one. I am very much in support of the Empty the Tanks movement, for I in no way believe that there are any conditions that can replicate a wild environment for a Killer Whale to truly thrive in. However I am torn on the subject of attending marine parks that hold captive cetaceans. The captive killer whales became apart of my life since the age of 11, and so they have been apart of me for over half of my life. I feel a connection towards them, because I have been following the status of each individuals for such a long time now. I have visited a marine park, that has killer whales, every single year since 2003. I have such a love towards these individuals that I wish to see them. But due to the Blackfish movement, its creating a guilt within me that I am supporting the parks by buying a ticket, to satisfy my own selfish needs to see the killer whales I have known for so many years. 
However it is very concering to me that between 2003 - 2015, the time frame that I have been actively following the captive orcas, 35 individuals have prematurely died, starting with the 2003 captured Russian Orca and including, Neocia, Hudson, Kalina, Kim 2 , Halyn, Ku, Asuka, Taku and so many others. Many of these killer whales I have even seen in person myself, primarily the Marineland Canada and Marineland France individuals. I have also witnessed the loss of killer whales from Japanese parks, such as Taiji Whaling Museum, Izu-Mito Sea Paradise and Nanki Shirahama Adventure World. Thankfully none of these places have replaced the killer whales which they lost. But unfortunately Russia have been very active in recent years in supplying the captive killer whale population, which is far from ideal.
In the ideal world, I would love if the killer whales could be retired to seapens to live out a life free from the entertainment industry, but unfortuntaley this is unlikely to happen. My hope is that within my life time we will no longer see killer whales in captivity, with the hope of the current population no longer breeding, there being no more captures and the killer whales currently alive will be phased out over the course of their hopefully not prematurely lives. But until that happens, there is still that desire for me to go and see the killer whales I have grown to know. To make my visits more beneficial, I have began to introduce behavioural observations, to make analyses of the killer whales that can hopefully be of aid in the anti-captive killer whale movement. 
This may be seen as hypocritical by many, but hey, I am human, as we have a knack for being like that.

Sunday, 7 September 2014


31st July 2017
-A listing of significant events in captive orca history has been added.
-The deceased orcas section has been updated to include their dates in captivity.
-More images have been added to the posts
-Updates have been made to the intro post, to aid in navigation of significant posts

21st July 2015
-Edits have been made due to the passing of Freya, who died on 20th June, after suffering from an illness for several months.

28th January 2015
-Kalia's 2014 Calf was given the name Amaya, out of the choices: Amaya, Kissa and Nasia. Updates have been made to Amaya's, Kalia's, Ulises', Orca Birthdays and Orca Family Tree bio's.

1st/3rd January 2015
-Updates made to Russian Captures page
-Kalia's 2014 Calf bio added
-Juliet's bio added
-Edits made to Keet, Kalia, Kshamenk, Takara's bios
-Additions made to Orca Birthdays and Orca Family Tree

13th November 2014
-Updates made to the Russian Captures page

7th Sept 2014
-MLF trip report added
-Kamea, Keijo's and Russian Orca Bio's added
-Additions made to Orca Birthdays and Orca Family Tree

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Marineland France - 15th April 2014

So today was Marineland day! When we got there, headed straight to la Orque stadium! Was lucky to catch Wikie et new Bebe at the glass being photographed and filmed. On the glass the trainers stuck a piece of paper that said 'Keijo'. I wondered at the time if that was to be the baby's new name. I couldn't believe how big the baby boy was! I was genuinely thinking it was Moana! But yeah, Wikie and baby were at the glass being super cute with their tongues out :). Baby was pretty adventurous I thought - leaving mama quite a bit!
There was a VIP tour going on, and they got all 6 orcas into the show pool, to all jump together. That was pretty awesome!
We then went to go see the rest of the park. We saw the polar bears - one was ripping apart it's enclosure - it was pulling off the rubber around the glass. Oh deary - poley bear wanting to escape! Then saw the sea lions, dolphins, penguins, aquarium ete.
We got lunch then sat down for the orca show. For the twenty mins before it started I watched Wikie, Moana and Baby in the side pool. Moana and baby were playing around together :). In the other pool it looked as if Val was a horny male with his penis out!
We saw the show which featured them all! Then we watched all the other shows - dolphin show, stellar sea lion show and California sea lion show.
In the last 30 mins before leaving I went to watch the orcas. They weren't doing much before the next show began.
I then went around to my dolphins and got an interaction! I placed the dolphin stuffy on the ground, resting it on the glass, and they went down to its level to look at it :). I played with them for just under 10 mins. They were very cute and open mouthed. I got a wee splash, one of them using its beak to splash me but it still stuck around. Was a great way to end the day :)

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

SWC Orca Behavioural Observations

SeaWorld California Captive Orca Study – 30th July 2013

I am just about to enter my second year of my Animal Behaviour and Welfare Course at Plymouth University. I have been interested in orcas and been very familiar with the captive population for the past 10 years. Animal rehabilitation is a growing interest of mine and where I wish my career to lie. In my third year of my course I will have to do a final project which I am hoping I can do about comparisons of captive and wild killer whales.

I attended SeaWorld on the 30th July 2013 and conducted a mini-study, to give myself practice in recording animal behaviour. For an hour each, I studied three individual orcas: Makani, Keet and Shouka. I chose Makani as he is the newest addition to the family, and wanted to observe who is bonds were with. I selected Keet as he is one of the few whales who has lived at most of the SeaWorld Parks, and therefore he has been socialized amongst many different pods. And finally, I chose Shouka, as prior to her arrival at SeaWorld, she had lived without orca companionship for 10 years, and so I wanted to see how she interacted with the fellow orcas.

My study began with Makani, who was in the Dine With Shamu pool with his mother, Kasatka and Nakai. Occasionally his older sister, Kalia would join the group.

-Makani and Kasatka are slowly passing by the glass, Makani is hanging under his mother as young killer whales do. Nakai is at the back of the pool
-Kasatka and Makani are doing laps. When Kasatka swims the back length of the pool, she swims upside down. Makani swims upright

-The pair change their direction of lapping. Nakai joins Makani and Kasatka
-Makani and Kasatka swim past the glass upside down
-Kalia briefly joins the pool then leaves

-Makani and Kasatka change direction again
-Makani and Kasatka swim upside down. Makani looks as if he is about to nurse, but does not. They swim upside down in the middle of the pool, and swim upright past the glass
-Makani and Kasatka increase their speed

-Kalia joins the pool at the back

-Makani and Kasatka join Kalia and Nakai at the back of the pool
-Makani is closest to Kalia, all orcas have their head out of the water
-Makani changes sides of Kalia three times

-Makani is at the back of the pool by himself
-Kalia goes onto the slideout
-Makani leaves the back of the pool and swims by himself

-Makani goes out of site
-Kasatka swims by the glass very slowly as if she is looking at us

-Makani re-appears. He is trailing his nose along the pool floor
-Makani swims by himself
-Makani returns to swimming laps with Kasatka and Nakai. Kasatka swims upside down at the back length of the pool, Makani and Nakai swim upright

-Makani and Kasatka change direction around the pool
-Kasatka swims upside down, Makani copies
-Kasatka investigates something at the bottom left of the pool, Makani and Nakai copy
-Makani, Kasatka and Nakai swim laps together

-Kasatka and Makani go by the glass slowly
-Nakai and Kasatka swim upside down, Makani copies
-Makani swims alone at the bottom of the pool playing with a fish
-Makani is at the back of the pool then goes to join Kasatka, their noses trailing along the bottom of the pool

-Makani and Kasatka go to the back of the pool with Nakai
-Kalia joins
-Kasatka floats; Makani has head out of the water
-Kasatka drifts off, Makani joins

-Makani and Kasatka change direction, and swim upside down
-Makani stays close to the back of the pool alone
-Makani joins Kasatka, they swim upside down
-Makani goes to the back of the pool with Kasatka, Nakai and Kalia
-Makani swims off upside down with Kalia
-Makani joins Kasatka, floating at the surface
-Makani, Kasatka, Kalia and Nakai are at the back of the pool with their heads out of the water

-Makani floats between Nakai and Kasatka
-Kasatka is moved along wall, Makani follows
-Kalia and Nakai are doing Dine With Shamu tricks
-Kasatka and Makani are at the back of the pool with their heads out of the water
-Makani swims off – out of sight

-Kasatka is sent to do a jump, Makani follows

-Kasatka swims off, Makani follows - out of sight

-Return to sight
-Makani goes to the back of the pool
-Kasatka and Makani swim upside down then go to the back of the pool

At the end of the observation, Nakai and Kalia are still engaging in Dine With Shamu. Kasatka and Makani are at the back of the pool

It is roughly 20 minutes since the show has ended, the stadium has been cleared out and Corky, Keet, Shouka and Ikaika are in the show pool.

-Keet is swimming at the back of the pool alone
-Keet is at the glass, running his body along the stadium jets, on his side with his pectoral raised
-Keet swims past the group to the back of the pool
-He lays upside down back the back slideout
-He approaches the jet again head first, rolling in it
-Rubs body along back of the pool

-Lays on his side at the back of pool
-Still on his side, blow hole is submerged and he turns his head to breathe then resumes laying on side

-Ikaika comes nearby to Keet then leaves
-Keet still playing on his side, occasionally blowing bubbles
-Keet briefly rolls onto back and turns to side again

-Keet leaves pool side
-Keet changes direction, swims outer edge of the pool, cuts across the middle and returns to the back of the pool, rubbing body along

-Keet floats in the middle of the pool alone
-Keet swims outer lap of the pool
-Keet pokes head out of the water and waggles his tongue
-Resumes to back of the wall on his side

-Trainers with fish and target arrive
-Keet moves, swims to back of slideout and floats nearby

-Keet swims to right gate and floats infront of it
-Ikaika approaches gate, suspends underwater then leaves
-Keet remains at gate

-Trainers appear on stage, Keet approaches. All the whales are at the stage
-Keet is fed a fish
-He is instructed to do an alien, lead by a target
-Trainer gets Keet to touch her hand with his nose three times, rewarded with fish
-Does alien again, fish reward
-Keet does alien again, big fish reward
-Ice reward
-Does alien without target, Keet shakes his head
-Alien with target, big fish reward
-Keet sent to do trick, but does not do it
-Keet touches nose to trainers small target
-Sent to do alien at the larger target, fish reward
-Trainer tickles Keets nose and claps, gives big ice cubes
-Keet touches trainers hand with nose, fish reward
-Raises out of water to touch trainers hand with mouth shut, then with mouth open. Big fish reward
-Trainer gives Keet a rubdown
-Ice reward, Keet nods head
-Trainer gets Keet to lay full length, gets fish reward, Keet curls tongue waiting

-Sessions ends
-Keet swims away, swims around pool alone

-Keet floats behind Shouka, Shouka moves
-Keet pauses at gate then resumes swimming

-Trainers re-appear, whales go to stage
-The whales are tossed big blocks of ice. Trainers leave
-Keet swims with mouth open, eating ice

-Keet floats near gate, curls tongue, leave when trainers cross bridge
-Floats in pool with head out of the water

-Shouka is in the show pool with Corky, Ikaika and Keet. The whales get moved into one of the back pools before the show starts

-Shouka slides out on he rown accord and lays there
-Slides out again
-Swims around pool
-Shouka approaches slideout, floats by it
-Shouka swims around pool then returns to by slideout
-Ikaika is by right gate, Keet is by left gate and Corky is doing laps
-Shouka slides entire body on slideout – twists around then re-submerges
-Shouka floats to back slideout the swims to front slideout
-Floats infront of front slideout

-Spyhops x 2
-Shouka swims around the pool
-Shouka swims onto back lower left slideout, swims back over to front slideout

-Shouka spyhops
-Shouka swims to left gate
-Shouka slides fully out, thrashing side to side on it

-Shouka gets off slideout, swims away
-Trainer calls whales to glass
-Moves whales to back right pool
-Shouka given ice
-Shouka swims away with Corky, does a lap around pool
-Corky and Shouka separate, Shouka changes direction
-Shouka goes next to Keet, waits open mouthed
-Shouka turns upside down, slaps tail on water
-Shouka goes to trainers
-Shouka swims around pool then returns to near trainers
-Shouka hangs right of Ikaika and Corky by trainers. She then swims away, dives to bottom of pool then returns to next to Corky

-Shouka swims away, lob tails
-Shouka speed swims around pool
-Shouka swims alongside Ikaika

-Shouka and Ikaika do laps together

-Shouka and Ikaika float gently together
-Shouka and Ikaika go to trainers
-Shouka and Ikaika swim around underwater in circles together
-Shouka, Ikaika and Corky engage to in underwater interaction then return to near trainers
-Shouka swims away in a circle
-Shouka swims upside down to other side of pool
-Shouka, Corky and Ikaika swim underwater
-Shouka swims around, raises head out of water, floats at surface
-Shouka swims around pool upside down, swims around and amongst Corky and Ikaika
-Shouka spyhops in front of the trainers, Corky and Ikaika join her
-Shouka swims away, floats at surface
-Shouka, Ikaika and Corky interact underwater together

-At the end of the observation, it is 10 minutes before the show starts. Corky, Ikaika and Shouka are engaging whereas Keet floats alone at the other end of the pool

SeaWorld California - 30th July 2013

So we went to SeaWorld again! This was for my study day. Me and mum went off and did our own things.
I went to Close Up first as Makani, Kasatka, Nakai and sometimes Kalia were in there. I studied Makani for an hour. He mainly followed Kasatka in laps, then was involved in a little Dine With Shamu.
Me and mum then met to see the show. Ulises, Orkid, Keet, Shouka and Ikaika were in it! I then watched Keet who was in the showpool with Ike, Corky and Shouka. Lol Keet didnt do alot. He just like floated by himself mainly.
Me and mum then got lunch. After I went off to watch Shouka. She was quite interesting. She kept sliding out, kinda did her own thing, but also interacted with Corky and Ike a little :)
Had one last look at Makani, then pretty much left the place. Really enjoyed my observations!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

SeaWorld California - 28th July 2013

So it's been 6 years since I last visited SeaWorld California! Man, twas a busy day!
Went straight to Shamu Close Up. Corky, Shouka and Ikaika were hanging out in the pool. People kept thinking the baby was one of them - er no! However shortly after they swapped them out and Kasatka and Makani were in the Close-up pool :D. They were doing a Dine with Shamu.
Me and Mum then got seats for the orca show. Orkid, Kalia and 2 others were in the show pool. The show was pretty good, featuring Orkid, Keet, Ulises, Kasatka and Makani. Damn, Orkid is such a beautiful whale. Love her. Makani was so adorable. He jumped alongside mom and attempted to splash the crowd :P. There was a Japanese Guy sat behind me and mum, so excited and absolutely howling with laughter during the splash time, such bants :P.
Me and mum then went around the rest of the park. Saw the 'Lugas and polar bear. Also the penguins, turtles and sharks! Liked the turtle and shark exhibit.
Before heading to the Dine, we stopped by the showpool and Kasatka, Makani, Kalia and Nakai were there entertaining guests. So cute to see the family together :D.
So for the Dine with Shamu we had the big boys - Keet and Ulises! Mostly had Uli infront of me, very much enjoyed it, alot of love for Uli! When it was their free time, Uli kept spyhopping pretty much infront of me and mum, thought it was awesome!!
We then saw the Dolphin Show which is similar to Viva in Texas. Think they had a Spinner Dolphin in their show! But yeah, the dolphins all looked hideously scratched up, as if they fight all the time. Did not like it :/
Just before leaving the park, took one last look at DWS pool. Kalia and Makani were spyhopping and grabbing the plastic thing filled with ice, suspended above the water. It was cute to see Makani with his big sister :)

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Marineland France - 9th April 2013

Donc ;) We went to Marineland! Train strike meant we caught the bus instead.
Me and Ma did the VIP thing for the first time. Lol it was such a weird experience, because of the people in our group. Everyone was French but barely spoke, and the trainer translating into English only every looked/talked to mum and not me lol!
We had croissants for breakfast next to the Penguin exhibit. The penguins were giving me jokes, belly flopping into the water :P
We then saw the other South American Penguins at their outdoor exhibit. Then the Sea Lions, who had a baby amongst them :). Saw the AMAZING Stellar Sea Lions. The males are like 700kg, dayum!
Went to the new aquarium - cute turtles flopping around infront of the glass :).
We saw the Polar Bears. One was in the water, then got out and rolled down the hill and got really dirty hahaa. Looked like it was engaging in some sterotypy though :/.
We then did out first Sea Lion encounter. That was with was blind South African Sea Lion, bless her. We fed her a fish, stroked her, then got her to hold her flipper out and fed her again. When she did the behavior well, we said "Bien!".
Then we got into waders and saw the dolphins! There was a male called Eclair, and a smaller female - Nala? We stroked Eclair and gave them both signals. J'adore dauphins!
Then was the killer whale encounter! Just before the dolphins, I saw Wikie and Moana in a backpool butting their noses on a target, it was so cute. Especially seeing Wikie still has play in her :D. But yeah, we watched the show from the side at a different view point. The show was pretty lame in all honesty. The worst we've seen, barely any jumping, it was slow moving and not very entertaining :/
After the show, we had our photos taken with Valentin who came up on the slideout behind us to pose. Loove Val :). That was the end of the VIP tour. Me and mum got food then went back to the turtles and walked around the Dinosaur bit lol.
We saw the Dolphin Show, found it alot better than the Orcas. Think there may have been 2 little ones in the back pool? Saw the Stella Sea Lion show after. Lots of flopping around!
We then went and saw the Orca Show again. It was better second time round, more action and there was even a rebellion by Inouk and Moana! Actually hilarious, they just decided not to perform anymore, so they switched them out for Freya and Valentin, cheeky things!
I went round to ma dolphins again at the interaction pool. I held my stuffie orca to the glass and threw it about and walked along the glass. They were curious, but splashed me shortly after. Gutted to learn that splashing is a sign of dislike :(. They must've saw it as teasing.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Loro Parque - 16th April 2012

We went to Loro Parque again. The weather was not the greatest though :(.
We went in and got the Discovery Tour passes for later. Went to see the Dolphins, first checking the Orcas. The dolphin show was quite amusing, because there were only 5 in the pool, it seemed 2 had decided not to perform, and baby wasn't in it much.
Then the orcas. No one was in the show pool. But yeah, all 4 adults were in the show, picked up that alot of emphasis seems to be on Skyla - 'Skyla y familia'.
We then got lunch and went on the Discovery Tour. It was alright. Didn't exactly see anything backstage of the animals. With the gorillas we saw their beds and food, and the penguins was their water purifers lol. And the 'backstage' orca part was just us in the show area for 5 minutes. Skyla did do some cheeky slideouts and we were told some good facts about the other animals.