For those who don’t know, a female orca at Marineland Antibes, has died. Her name was Freya, and she was only 33 when she passed away. Originally she had been captured and separated from her mother in Iceland at the age of one, a time when calves are still heavily dependent on their mothers. After she had been captured she was moved to the Harfnarfjordur Aquarium along with Kim 2, another orca whom she had been taken with. Both whales were then bought and sent to Marineland Antibes, where their captive orca life would soon begin.
In the hierarchy of Marineland, Betty was the dominant female of the pod. But after her passing in 1987, Freya assumed the role as Matriarch. Over the next few years Freya grew sexually mature and was ready to have children. She proceeded to have many pregnancies, but all resulted in stillborns. It was then discovered that she had a tumor on her body. It was quickly removed, and after which she had her first living calf, a male orca named Valentin who was born on Valentine’s Day. In the end she had five pregnancies, but only one survived. It has been said that she had been given anti-depressants up until she died, and she had been on birth control for awhile before being taken off of it so she could be AI (Artificially Inseminated). When she died she was a grandmother, a mother, and a companion to all the whales at Marineland.
R.I.P Freya… I will always remember you. You were such a beautiful, smart, sweet whale, and one of my favorite whales at Marineland Antibes. May you Rest In Peace, and swim among the stars.
Photo Credit: Marineland Antibes