The reality of Kandu’s death…

Kandu's death

August 21, 1989. SeaWorld San Diego.

The reality of Kandu’s death after she severed a major artery attempting to rake her teeth over tank mate, Corky. Killer Whales rarely need to use agression to display dominance in the wild. It is rare to even see rake marks. SeaWorld described this as a “normal, socially induced act of aggression to assert her dominance”.

Kandu had always been the dominant female at SeaWorld San Diego, raising questions as to why she was forced into confined spaces with other killer whales, especially after the birth her calf Orkid, who was less than a year old at the time of the incident.

It took Kandu 45 minutes to bleed to death. As she sprayed a 10ft geyser of blood from her blow hole, she never left Orkid’s side.


A deep state of depression…

“When you see a solitary whale like that, endlessly floating around, not swimming but just logging at the surface for hours at a time, when he would normally be travelling for miles with his family; it seems perfectly reasonable to compare that to someone sitting alone in a darkened room in a deep state of depression.”

Naomi Rose, Scientist for the Humane Society International on Tilikum at SeaWorld, Orlando.

Death at SeaWorld, David Kirby

What we should enjoy…

Zoos and aquariums are vital “in a world that grows ever more threatening to creatures in the wild.” But there was a “thin line between education and entertainment, between legitimate research and exploitation.”

“What we should enjoy, perhaps, is not their performance, but the mere fact of their existence. That, we believe, is wonder enough.”

The Tribune following Kandu’s death at SeaWorld, San Diego 1989.

Death at SeaWorld, David Kirby