Place of Capture: Hornafjörður, Iceland
Date of Capture: October 1989
Age at Capture: Approx. 3 years
A group of four Orcas were captured in Iceland sometime in October 1989. These would be the last whales captured from Icelandic waters, as the government was determining whether to ban the practice.
The whales were transferred to the Hafnarfjordur Aquarium where they remained until their transfers were authorized.
In January 1990, the male named Tanouk and a female named Sharkan were moved to Marineland Antibes in France. Here, they met the resident whales Kim II and Freya.
However, tensions were high during this time, as Freya was pregnant. Sharkan and Kim II got along immediately while Tanouk fought with the large bull. As a result, Tanouk was often kept in the back pools.
In November 1995, Tanouk was sold to Izu-Mito Sea Paradise and renamed Yamato. His underside suffered bad cuts during the transfer, but he was able to heal quickly.
Not long after his arrival, the park began searching for a female and when a group of Orcas were captured in Taiji in 1997, one of them was purchased and sent to Sea Paradise as a companion for Yamato.
Asuka, as she was named, seemed to settle in well and both she and Yamato got along well. Soon enough, plans for a breeding program were made. However, even though both whales were sexually mature, Asuka never became pregnant.
Finally, on October 24, 2000, Yamato died due to unknown causes after only 11 years in captivity.