Knootka was one of the first transient (mammal eating) orcas to be captured for captivity at the age of 4. Knootka was bought by Sealand of the Pacific where she was forced to eat dead frozen fish, something very new and unnatural for her, but she was forced to eat it during her entire captive life. She started raking fellow transient, Chimo (the albino orca) and decisions were then made to send her to Japanese Deer Park in California. She was only there for about year when she was moved to Seven Seas Texas. There are rumours she was abused and treated very poorly there. Knootka lived there for 3 year, until she was moved back up to Canada, but this time at Marineland in 1975. Knootka had been alone for four and a half years at the previous parks, so this was yet another adjustment for her. She never settled in very well at Marineland, but spent 10 and a half years there. The only orca she seemed to get along well with was Kandu 2 and the duo often performed together. In 1986, after 16 years in captivity, Knootka was moved yet again! This time, to Seaworld San Diego. She didn’t fit in very well, but seemed to get along with Kandu 5. She was used in shows very soon after her transfer. Knootka died in 1990, four years after arriving at Seaworld. Her official cause of death is pneumonia though Seaworld claims she had been battling an infection, and that old age played a factor. Knootka was only 24 when she died.

She had spent 20 years on captivity, at a whopping 5 different parks. Having to adjust to so many environments, change her diet, and meet so many different whales more than likely took a tole on her mental and physical health. 

Captivity kills



Ruka was captured in Icelandic waters in 1981 at about the age of one. She was captured with 5 other whales, the only currently living one being Kiska. Ruka was immediately sent to Hafnarfjordur Aquarium where she stayed for about 2 months. She was bought by a zoo in Germany and transferred there in December of 1981. Her only companions at the zoo were different dolphin species but she seemed to do well. She was simply named “Orca” at the zoo. She was the main attraction when she first arrived and the zoos revenue increased, but after a few years interest in her fell and she was sold to Nanki Shirahama Adventure World in Japan. She adjusted quite well, and was reunited with her species at the park. At Adventure World she was also given the name Ruka, which means “Bright Blue Flower” in Japanese.I have read rumours that the orcas at Adventure World weren’t treated well, and were even physically abused but I have never found anything confirmed on that so it’s impossible to know if it’s true. Ruka performed at the park in the end of the 80s and throughout the 90’s where she met many whales, and saw many die. She was a good performer, and even did waterworks with her trainers. Ruka was around many males but never had a calf. In March of 2000, after 18 and a half years in captivity, Ruka died. She performed in the orca show and sank to the bottom of the tank at the end of the performance, never to come back up. She died of traumatic shock though it is unclear what induced this. Ruka was only about 20 when she died, and at the time she was the oldest orca in a Japanese Aquarium. she was the 9th orca to die at Adventure World.

Captivity Kills