Today, December 12th, marks the 48th anniversary of Corky II’s capture.
On December 12, 1969, a group of twelve Orcas were captured in Pender Harbour in British Columbia, Canada. Of those 12 whales, only six were taken captive; they were later known as Calypso, Kenny, Patches, Nepo, Yaka, and Corky II.
Corky II, who was just 3 years old at the time, was sold to Marineland of the Pacific in Rancho Palos Verdes, California along with Kenny and Patches. When they arrived, they met the two resident whales, Corky and Orky II. Unfortunately, Corky died in 1970, Patches in 1971, and Kenny died in 1972. As a result, Corky II and Orky II were left alone at the park.
When Corky II was 11 years old, however, she became pregnant with her first calf, the very first conceived in captivity. The male calf was born on February 28, 1977; though Corky II had never learned how to care for a calf. Marineland staff attempted to step in and tube-feed the calf, but he died on March 16 at only 16 days old.
On Halloween in 1978, Corky II gave birth to her second calf, another male who was named Spooky who also was unable to nurse due to Corky II’s inexperience. He died 11 days later on November 10. Two years later, Corky II would give birth to a stillborn calf of unknown gender.
In 1982, Corky II gave birth to her fourth calf, a female later known as Kiva. Despite Corky II being trained to present her mammary glands to the calf, Kiva was still unable to nurse requiring staff to step in after 3 days to bottle-feed Kiva. Unfortunately, Kiva died on August 3 at only 48 days old.
Finally, on July 22, 1985, Corky II gave birth to her fifth calf, another female who did not receive a name. Once again, the calf was unable to nurse, and staff had to step in again; though Corky II was a good mother otherwise and was gentle with her daughter. Unfortunately, this calf also died on August 20, 1985.
After this calf, Corky II suffered two miscarriages before she stopped ovulating. During her last pregnancy, she and Orky II were moved to SeaWorld San Diego after Marineland was sold.
Caption: 56 Blackfish, edited by @emptyallthetanks