Kenau - orca

From WikiAnimal

  • Sex: Female
  • Date captured: 25th October 1976
  • Location of capture: Medallandsbugt, Iceland
  • Age at capture: Approx 1
  • Died: 6 August 1991
  • Place of death: SeaWorld Orlando, Florida, USA
  • Cause of death: Pneumonia
  • History

On October 25, 1976, two young female orcas were captured in Medallands Bugt, Iceland. The two were later known as Kenau and Gudrun and were transferred a month later to Dolphinarium Harderwijk.

Kenau’s stay was short compared to Gudrun’s, as she was transferred to SeaWorld San Diego in the same year where she met many new whales. It wasn’t long before she was performing in Shamu Stadium.

From 1979 to 1981, she was transferred to SeaWorld Aurora for the summers, and often performed with another female known as Kandu V. Both females got along well, and were considered the star performers at the San Diego park. However, both females were also known to be aggressive at times.

In July 1983, the pair disrupted shows by “relentlessly pushing trainers from one end of the tank to the other”.

On March 4, 1987, one of the females seized 21 year old trainer Johnathan Smith and dove to the bottom of the tank before returning the bleeding trainer to the surface. Smith continued to wave and smile at the crowd before the second female slammed into him. Smith continued to pretend he was unhurt while the two whales repeatedly pulled him to the bottom of the 32ft. deep tank. When Smith managed to escape the tank, he was cut all around his torso, suffered a ruptured kidney along with a six-inch laceration of his liver. It wasn’t until later that the two whales involved were identified as Kenau and Kandu V.

When Kenau reached sexual maturity, she mated with Winston, one of SeaWorld’s bull orcas. She gave birth to her first calf on January 5, 1986, and the female, known as Baby Shamu II, seemed healthy. Unfortunately, the calf began to develop breathing problems and was brought to the medical pool, but died of a heart attack the day after the move.

After Winston’s death in 1986, SeaWorld purchased two new whales; a female known as Corky II and a male known as Orky II. Kenau soon mated with Orky II and became pregnant with her second calf, due in 1988. Before she could give birth, she was moved to the new park in San Antonio, Texas. Nine months after her arrival, she gave birth to her second daughter, Kayla, who now resides at SeaWorld Orlando.

Later on, Kenau mated with the bull Kotar and became pregnant again with a third calf that was due in 1992. However, she was moved to the Orlando park in January 1991 and suffered a miscarriage.

On August 6, 1991, Kenau died due to Hemorrhagic bacterial pneumonia.


See also