Trua

Trua enjoys a good puzzle … and gelatin.

Ever since I began working with Trua, two things have been very clear – 1. he’s playful and 2. he loves puzzles. Puzzle toys to be exact. These “puzzles” are made of individual toys stuck together with gelatin.

Pro tip: Animal toys are known as “environmental enrichment devices” in the zoological community.

I remember as a youngster, he enjoyed playing hide-and-seek with me, especially when I popped out unexpectedly! Trua also loves communicating using his many vocalizations.

When Trua isn’t participating in shows or interacting with me, you might see him at killer whale underwater viewing, where he often spends time with Tilikum as they also watch and interact with guests – especially the young children.

In 2009, when Trua was fully weaned and socially independent, his mother Takara was moved to SeaWorld San Antonio. Both Takara and Trua continue to thrive in their respective pods.

As with all of our orcas, Trua is engaged socially, mentally and physically every day. He enjoys interacting with whales and us humans, and participating in shows, training and relationship-building sessions. In short, he makes my job very easy.

-Michelle, Supervisor of Animal Training

Quick Facts

  • Born: November of 2005
  • Male
  • Weighs 4,200 pounds
  • Measures 16 feet long
  • Distinguishing Physical Characteristics: easily recognized by the freckles on his jaw, right eye patch and chest
  • Research involved in: hormone levels/relationships in fecal and blood, and morphometric analysis-measurements, weight, photography and video for several research projects

Michelle, Supervisor of Animal Training

Michelle-Shoemaker-headshot

I grew up in Florida and SeaWorld inspired me early on. I have been a part of the animal training team at SeaWorld for 11 years.