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Sea World San Diego has taken possession of a new killer whale, bringing the number of orcas in local captivity to nine. Shouka, a 19 year-old female, was born at an aquatic park in France and spent time at another facility in Ohio before landing at her most recent home, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California.

Shouka flew to San Diego via Oakland on Monday, and is reportedly getting along well with Corky, another female orca in Sea World’s collection. She was previously the only killer whale in residence at Discovery Kingdom, where she had allegedly formed bonds with bottlenose dolphins before their being removed to another tank for undisclosed reasons.

Like other whales in Sea World San Diego’s history, Shouka comes with a checkered past. She recently was captured on video lunging aggressively at a trainer, a misbehavior that caused Six Flags to move all trainers beyond a protective barrier when working with her.

Sea World plans to incorporate her into the amusement park chain’s popular daily shows once she acclimates to her new surroundings, the Los Angeles Times reports. She may also be used as part of the park’s captive breeding program.

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sunnysonja Aug. 22, 2012 @ 4:16 p.m.

I was at SWSD this morning, and I have heard that she has been adjusting great. I don't really think it's Shouka's fault that she was showing agression towards her past trainers at Six Flags. Killer whales are extremely social creatures and she has been alone in that six flags tank for a couple of months. The agression she displayed at six flags was simply an outward expression of her frustration of the fact that she had no companions. I don't think those agressive behaviors will translate onto the SW trainers, because now she has the social interaction that she has been needing.


Tursiops2 Sept. 7, 2012 @ 3:27 p.m.

First off, I do not support dolphins & orcas in captivity. But this article is not fair to Shouka. Shouka spent almost 10 years in Vallejo without another orca campanion. She had only 2 bottlenose dolphins for a campanion. Dolphins are not a compatable companion for an orca, no matter what the laws says! It would be like putting a person in a prison cell, never letting them out, and giving them a pig for a campanion, forever! So over time, the "companionship" stopped being beneficial to the park because Shouka would no longer tolerate the dolphins in the same pool. So they had to move the dolphins to another pool. Now poor Shouka was purely all alone. After more than a year like this, she finally had had enough and let the trainers know she was unhappy and lunged at one of them. It was only after this incident that Six Flags FINALLY did something to improve her living conditions. At least now she's with other orcas, who so far have seem to accept her into their family. At least this is an improvement from before. Since she is captive born she can never be released into the ocean, and you know they will never put her in a sea pen as long as they can make money off her.


florence1 Sept. 7, 2012 @ 6:03 p.m.

I am new to this and finding out how cruel to kill and keep dolphins, whales and Orcas in captivity is very cruel. I agree entirely with the above comment from Tursiop2. Please stop and do the right thing.


orcawhales76 Sept. 8, 2012 @ 2:11 a.m.

I agree totally with Florence1 and Tursiop2. Dolphins, whales and anything else in captivity is a disgrace. And Sunnysonja she was by herself for more than a couple of months. What do they expect from her. Wish they could just build a BIG SEAPEN. in each country where these whales are from in the locations they are from and put them back there if they cannot be released into the wild or are unable to get them to their families. For those born in captivity just a seapen in the state they were born with their mothers. Not seperated in some other state.


cshields9 Sept. 21, 2013 @ 9:10 a.m.

Give Shouka to the Free Willy Keiko Foundation she's Keiko's little sister actually and she resembles her big late brother as well. And Shouka can retire at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport Or like her brother did. Her brother's sea pen is still in Iceland bring her there after the aquarium In Newport like Keiko.


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