Nalani will have you smiling in no time, trust me.

When she isn’t spending time with her mother, Katina, Nalani can be seen playing with younger brother Makaio and occasionally “melon bumping” with companion Malia. (Some whales will slowly swim by each other and gently bump their “melons,” what you and I might call our foreheads, together in a playful behavior we have termed “melon bumping.”)

Nalani rarely chooses to rest alone, and loves to be around others, whether she’s interacting with me or the other whales. I must say, her tireless spunk and energy keeps me laughing all day.

In addition to her amazing personality, Nalani also has a distinctive feature that helps guests identify her. The next time you see Nalani up close at One Ocean, Dine with Shamu or at killer whale underwater viewing, look for the three little black streaks on her right eye patch. I call those streaks her “eyelashes!”

-Ashley, Senior Animal Trainer

Quick Facts

  • Born: September of 2006
  • Female
  • Weighs 3,540 pounds
  • Measures 16 feet long
  • Distinguishing Physical Characteristics: can easily be recognized by three little black streaks on her right eye patch.
  • Research involved in: hormone levels/relationships in fecal and blood, and morphometric analysis-measurements, weight, photography and video for several research projects.

Ashley, Senior Animal Trainer


In 2011 I began working with dolphins at Discovery Cove. In 2013 I joined the animal training department at Shamu Stadium.