Kotar - orca

From WikiAnimal

Sex: Male

Pod: N/A

Place of capture: Iceland

Date of capture: October 26, 1978

Age at capture: Approx. less than 1 year

On October 26, 1978, a group of 6 orcas were captured off the coast of Iceland. All 6 were sent to the Hafnarfjordur Aquarium before being purchased not long after.

A young male named Kotar was purchased by SeaWorld San Diego little more than a week after his capture. When he arrived at the park, Kotar was placed in the petting pool on account of his young age and gentle nature.

Eighteen months later, he was transferred to SeaWorld Orlando where he began performing. He also met a number of other orcas whom he got along with well.

In 1987, Orlando received more orcas, including a transient bull named Kanduke. The two did not get along at all, and would often fight with each other. One day, the fighting got worse and ended with Kotar biting Kanduke’s penis, resulting in an injury bad enough to suspend shows for 2 days. Because of the aggression between the males, Kotar was transferred to the San Antonio park where he was the only male among a number of females.

As he got older, Kotar was also described as an aggressive orca. He hated animal care, according to veteran trainer Jim Horton. Kotar would lunge at staff if they were too close to the pool.

In February of 1987, it’s believed that Kotar was the orca that had a diver sitting on his rostrum before suddenly opening his mouth and biting down on the woman’s thigh, disappearing under the water. Trainers rushed to the stage and were slapping the water, trying to get him to surface, but when he did, he threw his head sideways and flung the woman onto the stage. She was bleeding with a torn wet suit and had to be assisted off stage.

It has also been rumored that Kotar jumped out of the show tank and into the stands twice during his life, requiring staff to flood the entire stadium in order to refloat him. However, no reliable source has been found confirming these incidents.

Throughout his life, Kotar fathered a total of seven calves, though only 3 ever lived long enough to be named. Most notably, he impregnated Kalina when she was only 6 years old, resulting in the birth of Keet in 1993.

In 1995, the pair produced another son named Keto. At the time of this publication, Keet resides at the San Diego park, while Keto resides at Loro Parque in Spain.

Kotar also knew how to open the gates separating the pools. Unfortunately, this resulted in his death on April 1, 1995 when he managed to open a gate and it crashed down onto his melon, crushing his skull. His official cause of death is listed as acute hemorrhagic pneumonia.

See also