Tragedy of SeaWorld’s ‘saddest’ whale who lost 7 babies and lives in tiny tank

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An orca who has spent the last 48 years in a concrete tank at SeaWorld has been labelled the “saddest in the world” after losing all seven of her calves.

Corky the killer whale is believed to be the longest to ever be held in captivity. She was taken from the wild in 1969 but didn’t join SeaWorld in San Diego until 1987.

Wild Orcas can typically live 80 to 90+ years but SeaWorld often describes Corky as an old whale. PETA has been campaigning for the mammal to be released into a sanctuary.

Most of the whale's life has been spent in a concrete tank smaller than the size of an Olympic swimming pool.

The animal charity has also accused the amusement park’s trainers of abusing the orca for years.

The Orca, who is believed to be around 52 years old is partially blind in one eye with worn-down teeth and failing kidneys and is often seen swimming around in endless circles according to PETA.

All seven of Corky’s calves born during two inbreeding programs died whilst in captivity.

The poor animal was also attacked by another female Orca, in August 1989. Kandu launched full speed at Corky during a live performance before dying from her injuries.

SeaWorld have been accused of exploiting animals for financial gain, taking them from their natural habitats and 'forcing' them to perform in front of cheering crowds.

However, the organisation has always denied the claims. They added that releasing Corky back into the wild would be a "death sentence".

PETA told The Sun Online: "Corky’s heartbreaking story is the perfect example of why wild animals don’t belong in marine parks. From thriving in her home in the ocean to being dubbed “the world’s saddest orca”, Corky has seen everything that’s natural and important to her be taken away.

"This includes her calves, all seven of whom passed away within 47 days of being born. From the day she was taken from her home, her life has been filled with deprivation, pain, and loss.

"PETA is urging SeaWorld to undo some of the harm it has done by releasing Corky and the other animals it holds captive into seaside sanctuaries, where they could have a semblance of the life that was taken away from them."

SeaWorld said: "Corky receives a standard of care that exceeds those set by the government agencies and meets those of independent, third-party animal welfare groups that monitor and endorse the care of animals in accredited zoos and aquariums.

"The knowledge gained from her care and study in our accredited zoological setting helps researchers, scientists and veterinarians better understand and conserve these majestic animals in the wild.”

They also added: "Sea sanctuaries are not a viable option for Corky. We are not aware of one that is built that could be assessed as an option.

"Ocean-based housing would expose her to a range of health hazards – bacteria, viruses, pollution, poor water quality – that Corky does not encounter in human care and against which her immune system may be unable to cope.

"To our knowledge, there are no sea sanctuaries with the consistent financial funding and full time experienced veterinary care necessary to ensure long term health and care for an orca.

"It is our veterinarian’s professional opinion that a sea sanctuary would result in significant risk to Corky’s health and wellbeing and would not be in her best interests."

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  • Animals
  • SeaWorld

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