Corky the killer whale, who has spent 48 years of his life in a concrete tank the size of an Olympic swimming pool at SeaWorld, has been dubbed the “saddest whale in the world” after losing all of her babies during the inbreeding program, according to the Daily Star. She was rescued from the wild in 1969, but she didn’t join SeaWorld in San Diego until 1987.
Although the park frequently refers to Corky as an elderly whale, orcas in the wild can live for 80 to 90 years. PETA has been pushing for her release into a sanctuary because of her present state.
SeaWorld’s Corky the Killer Whale
According to The Whale Sanctuary Project, no other whale has survived captivity as long as Corky. Since she was captured from the wild, she has been raised, showcased, and forced to perform for pleasure.
Corky is originated from British Columbia’s Pacific seas. Corky was abducted and torn from her mother at the age of five when a massive crane pulled her out of the water and onto a vehicle.
She was initially transported to Marineland of the Pacific in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, where she was reunited with three other whales from her pod. After a few years, she was transported to Sea World, where she had a few incidences of aggressiveness.
Corky constantly collaborates with different trainers and rose to prominence as one of the primary performers under the stage name “Shamu.” Corky was a compassionate and tolerant whale who would purposefully change her behavior to ensure that unskilled trainers were not injured while exercising.
For example, she would place fresh trainers halfway down the tank rather than at the absolute bottom for the “hydro” move, which propels a trainer through the water and into the air. Corky, according to former trainer John Hargrove, does this to safeguard trainers. She was picked for her intellect and loving disposition to make decisions that will assist and protect human trainers.
Corky Lost Seven of Her Calves
Corky has been pregnant seven times in her life. Her calves were typically born alive, but none lived longer than two months. Corky mated with Orky, the male orca at Marineland where she was initially held captive, when she was about 11 years old, according to OrcaLab.
On February 28, 1977, she gave birth to her first child, a boy calf. After birth, Orky assisted in surfacing the calf, but the scene became heated when the infant refused to suckle. He died 16 days later as a result of pneumonia.
On October 31, 1978, she gave birth to her second calf, who similarly refused to feed and died 11 days later with the same conditions. Pneumonia and colitis were thought to be caused by bacterial contamination of the formula.
On April 1, 1980, she gave birth to an eight-week preterm stillborn calf, almost two years later. After another two years, on June 18, 1982, Corky gave birth to a girl calf, her longest-surviving child. She made it for 46 days. She perished because, like the prior two calves, she was unable to feed.
After that, she had two more pregnancies. On July 22, 1985, she gave birth to another female calf, who lived for a month. Corky’s most recent pregnancy occurred on July 27, 1986. At the age of 21, she stopped ovulating.
Corky would have been 46 years old if she had survived in the wild, according to experts. She would have been swimming with her own children, who may have grown into adults, as well as her grandchildren. In the wild, a female orca has 25 reproductive years and can have four to six children.