Today, August 21st, marks the 28th anniversary of Kandu V’s death. May she rest in peace.
On October 12, 1977, a group of 6 Orcas were captured in Ingólfshöfði, Iceland; four females and two males. It is possible that they were transferred to the Hafnarfjordur Aquarium for a short time before being sent to Dolphinarium Harderwijk. Here, their health was assessed, genders were determined, and all 6 received names.
Soon enough, a female named Kandu V was purchased by SeaWorld San Diego. It is likely that she spent some time in the “petting pool” along with some other young Orcas shortly after transfer. However, when her training was over, she eventually began performing in the main pool where she was joined by a female named Kenau and a male named Winston.
Kandu V was described as a good performer, but showed signs of aggression towards her trainers many times.
On two separate occasions in 1983, Kandu V took a trainer in her mouth and momentarily refused to let go, as well as relentlessly pushed trainers from one end of the tank to the other with another female named Kenau. On February 23, 1984, she took trainer Joanne Hay in her mouth and pinned her against a wall during a performance.
On March 4, 1987, Kandu V and Kenau were the whales identified after the attack on trainer Jonathan Smith, leaving him with cuts around his torso, a ruptured kidney, as well as a 6-inch laceration of his liver.
The last reported incident with Kandu V was on June 15, 1987 when she landed on top of trainer Joanne Webber and pushed her to the bottom of the pool during a training session; Webber suffered a fractured neck.
When she reached sexual maturity, Kandu V mated with Winston and became pregnant with her first calf in 1984. However, she gave birth to a stillborn calf on January 31, 1986.
In 1987, a male and female, Orky 2 and Corky 2, were purchased and moved to San Diego. Kandu V seemed to get along very well with the new male, Orky II, and soon became pregnant with her second calf.
On September 23, 1988, she gave birth to a female named Orkid. She was described as a protective mother and wasn’t happy when Corky II showed interest in Orkid.