Heartbreaking story of world’s ‘saddest’ SeaWorld orca Corky who misplaced all 7 of her infants in ‘merciless’ inbreeding program

Heartbreaking story of world’s ‘saddest’ SeaWorld orca Corky who misplaced all 7 of her infants in ‘merciless’ inbreeding program

A SEAWORLD orca dubbed the “saddest on this planet” has spent the final 48 years in a concrete tank shedding all of her seven calves.

Corky the killer whale was taken from her household in 1969 earlier than ultimately being moved to SeaWorld San Diego in 1987 and is believed to be the orca who has spent the longest in captivity.


Corky, 52, has spent the final 48 years of her life being held in captivityCredit: ABC


Corky performing throughout SeaWorld’s Killer Whale academic presentation in 2017Credit: Alamy


She was taken from her pod on the coast of British Columbia in 1969Credit: ABC

Animal Charity PETA has been campaigning for the animal to be launched right into a sanctuary as they consider she has suffered years of ‘abuse’ by the hands of SeaWorld trainers.

The killer whale has now spent 48 years of her life held in a captivity – usually in a concrete tank smaller than the scale of an Olympic swimming pool.

Corky, 52, is partially blind in a single eye with worn-down tooth and failing kidneys and is commonly seen swimming round in limitless circles say PETA.

The whale has additionally misplaced all of her seven infants while in captivity as a part of two breeding applications – with all her younger calves dying earlier than making it to maturity.

She bred six kids on the now-closed Marineland, in California – the place she was inseminated together with her personal cousin’s semen, it is believed.

Her final child, born at SeaWorld, was discovered useless on the backside of her tank in 1987.

Issues would solely worsen for Corky when she was attacked by one other feminine Orca in August 1989 who turned overprotective of her calf.

SeaWorld killer whale Kandu launched full velocity at Corky throughout a reside efficiency earlier than dying from her horror accidents, spouting blood from her blowhole for 45 minutes.

Corky would turn into a surrogate mum to Kandu’s calf Orkid – the one probability she would get to expertise motherhood.

As a result of orca’s plight and that of different animals in SeaWorld care, animal rights campaigners have focused the park for years.

They’ve been accused of exploiting animals for monetary achieve, taking them from their pure habitats and ‘forcing’ them to carry out in entrance of cheering crowds.

SeaWorld has at all times fiercely denied the claims and mentioned that releasing Corky again into the wild can be a ‘dying sentence’ as she would not be capable to fend for herself.

They advised The Solar On-line that Corky was receiving the perfect of care on the park and she or he wouldn’t be ready for hazards within the wild having spent a few years in captivity.

Corky at present lives with eight different Orcas on the park whereas varied animal charities are battling to have her launched into the wild.


In 1969 off the coast of British Colombia, Vancouver, a four-year-old Corky was torn from her mom’s facet together with two others for her pod – an unnamed male and a feminine later named Patches.

They had been offered to Marineland of the Pacific, California, the place she obtained her identify and was stored in a tank with a male Orca – Orky, believed to be her cousin.

They remained collectively for the following seventeen years and she or he turned the primary killer whale to offer delivery in captivity in 1977.

Nevertheless, the calf didn’t nurse and died of pneumonia 11 days later.

Corky and Orky would have six calves along with the oldest solely surviving for simply 46 days.

In 1987 Corky was offered to SeaWorld the place she can be inseminated once more earlier than the calf was discovered useless on the backside of her tank.

Regardless of her ache, she confirmed few indicators of aggression and labored with trainers to turn into one of many park’s primary performers – even inheriting the stage identify ‘Shamu’.


Corky together with her first calf who was the primary killer whale to be bred in captivity – the newborn would solely survive 11 daysCredit: Getty


Corky is now regarded as dwelling in a tank no greater than an Olympic swimming poolCredit: Alamy


Killer whale Kandu was left spouting blood from blowhole after ‘suicidal assault’ on one other orcaCredit: Not recognized, clear with image desk

In August 1980, Corky and one other youthful whale Orkid had been participating in a efficiency collectively in entrance of a packed stadium.

Orkid’s dominant mom Kandu remained in one of many facet swimming pools however turned jealous of the pair’s closeness.

Immediately, Kandu entered the present pool and swam after the bigger feminine, ramming into her at full velocity together with her mouth open.

Though Corky was okay, Kandu broke her jaw, severing a serious artery in her nasal passages.

She died with blood spouting out of her blowhole in entrance of horrified spectators.

This the not the primary time a killer whale in SeaWorld’s care has died – with no less than 43 have died on the attraction.

In 2019 SeaWorld Orlando introduced that an orca named Kayla died of ‘lung illness’ and offered no different particulars on her dying.

In the identical yr, a pilot whale named Fredi died after ‘persistent well being issues’ and was the fourth to die within the house of simply three years.

Tikilum the killer whale additionally killed three SeaWorld trainers with consultants placing his ‘psychotic’ behaviour all the way down to his 30 years in captivity.


PETA is now campaigning to get Corky launched into the wild so she will be able to take pleasure in a greater high quality of life.

Sadly Corky’s mom, who remained within the wild died in 2000 however a lot of her family members nonetheless swim in the identical space.

A workforce of consultants have recognized a big holding space that will be used to slowly introduce Corky again into her pure habitat and encourage her to start looking for herself.

PETA advised The Solar On-line: “Corky’s heartbreaking story is the proper instance of why wild animals don’t belong in marine parks.

“From thriving in her house within the ocean to being dubbed “the world’s saddest orca”, Corky has seen the whole lot that’s pure and vital to her be taken away.

“This consists of her calves, all seven of whom handed away inside 47 days of being born.

“From the day she was taken from her house, her life has been stuffed with deprivation, ache, and loss.

“PETA is urging SeaWorld to undo a few of the hurt it has performed by releasing Corky and the opposite animals it holds captive into seaside sanctuaries, the place they may have a semblance of the life that was taken away from them.”

SeaWorld advised The Solar On-line that the accredited zoological park had practically 60 years of expertise in caring for killer whales with devoted vets and specialists.

They mentioned: “Corky receives a regular of care that exceeds these set by the federal government businesses and meets these of impartial, third-party animal welfare teams that monitor and endorse the care of animals in accredited zoos and aquariums. 

“The data gained from her care and research in our accredited zoological setting helps researchers, scientists and veterinarians higher perceive and preserve these majestic animals within the wild.

They go on to say that SeaWorld helps killer whale conservation initiatives by way of the Nationwide Fish, Wildlife Basis’s Killer Whale conservation program and the SeaWorld Conservation Fund.

Additionally they added: “Sea sanctuaries aren’t a viable possibility for Corky.  We aren’t conscious of 1 that’s constructed that could possibly be assessed as an possibility. 

“Ocean-based housing would expose her to a spread of well being hazards – micro organism, viruses, air pollution, poor water high quality – that Corky doesn’t encounter in human care and in opposition to which her immune system could also be unable to manage.

“To our data, there are not any sea sanctuaries with the constant monetary funding and full time skilled veterinary care obligatory to make sure long run well being and take care of an orca. 

“It’s our veterinarian’s skilled opinion {that a} sea sanctuary would end in important threat to Corky’s well being and wellbeing and wouldn’t be in her greatest pursuits.”


Kandu acting at SeaWorld earlier than her dying in 1987Credit: inherentlywild / Orcaholic