Ahab - orca

From WikiAnimal
Cause of deathNot released
Captured atBainbridge Island, Washington State
Capture ageApprox. 8 years
PodSouthern Residents
Capture dateOctober 15, 1968

Ahab was a male orca captured in Washington State, USA and purchased by the US Navy.

In October of 1968, a group of over 25 orcas were captured off the coast of Bainbridge Island. One of the captured orcas, a male from J pod known as J-1 Ruffles, has since passed away. Out of the captured group, only 5 orcas were kept, which included 2 large males.

Shortly after their capture, the two male orcas, now named Ahab and Ishmael, were purchased by the US Navy and transported to a Californian base for training. After completing their initial training, they were relocated to Hawaii.

During their time in Hawaii, Ahab and Ishmael were trained to locate and mark cylindrical objects in the open ocean with pingers attached. They were successful in their training and by 1970, both orcas had achieved "open ocean reliability," which meant that they could accompany a vessel out to sea about 5 times per week for a round trip of 10-12 nautical miles.

Despite previous failed attempts, Ishmael managed to escape on February 19, 1971, when he failed to respond to his recall signal and swam away. Ahab, on the other hand, continued to work and went on a 24-hour excursion on June 8, 1971, covering over 50 nautical miles along the coast of Oahu. After this excursion, no further sea trials were conducted with him.

In 1974, Ahab died at around 15 years of age, though the cause and date of death have not been disclosed.

See also