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|June 17, 1995
SeaWorld of Florida
On June 17, 1995, a female orca named Kalina, who was born and raised in captivity, gave birth to her second calf at SeaWorld Orlando. It was quite remarkable because Kalina was only 9 years old at the time. The newborn calf was a male named Keto, and his father was a male orca from Iceland called Kotar.
Keto spent a little over 3 years at the Orlando park before being moved to SeaWorld San Diego in 1999. There, he was reunited with his older brother, Keet. In April 2000, Keto and Keet, along with another male orca named Sumar, were transferred once again, this time to a park in Aurora, Ohio.
In February 2001, Keto was transferred to SeaWorld San Antonio, where he developed a close bond with a female orca named Kayla. However, he often got into conflicts with a male named Kyuquot over Kayla's attention. In 2004, Keto was reunited with his brother Keet. Unfortunately, in February 2006, Keto, along with three other young orcas named Kohana, Tekoa, and Skyla, were sent on a breeding loan to Loro Parque in Spain. This decision drew criticism due to their familial relationship, even though they were owned by SeaWorld.
The young orcas at Loro Parque faced challenges in terms of their social structure since they lacked a dominant matriarch. As a result, they exhibited aggression towards each other and occasionally towards trainers. Notably, Keto had already shown aggressive behavior towards trainers before being moved to Loro Parque.
In September 1998, he pushed his trainer around the pool, and in March 1999 and August 2002, he made contact with another trainer. In December 1999, he snapped at his trainer during a training session. However, Keto's aggression seemed to escalate on December 24, 2009.
During a morning training session for the Christmas Special, Keto attacked and killed his 29-year-old trainer, Alexis Martínez. Initially, it was reported that Alexis had drowned after being rendered unconscious and held underwater for several minutes. However, the subsequent autopsy revealed a more violent cause of death. Alexis had suffered multiple cuts and bruises, collapsed lungs, rib and sternum fractures, a lacerated liver, severe damage to vital organs, and puncture marks consistent with orca teeth.
The autopsy determined that drowning caused by fluid in the lungs was the immediate cause of death. However, the underlying cause was attributed to "mechanical asphyxiation due to compression and crushing of the thoracic abdomen with injuries to vital organs." This indicated that Keto had slammed into Alexis with enough force to cause his chest to cave in.
In October 2010, Kohana, who was part of the orca group at Loro Parque, gave birth to the first calf conceived at the park. The calf, named Adán, was fathered by Keto, who also happened to be Kohana's uncle. Unfortunately, Kohana rejected Adán, likely due to her lack of mothering skills. As a result, the park staff had to bottle-feed and care for Adán.
In 2012, Kohana gave birth to her and Keto's second calf, a female named Victoria, or Vicky for short. Once again, Kohana rejected her calf, and the staff had to separate them and provide bottle feeding. Tragically, Vicky died at just 10 months old.