Kamea, a curious and playful three-year-old is the newest member of the San Antonio pod, and she has been a wonderful addition.
Weighing a mere 1,600 pounds, she’s easily distinguishable as the smallest whale in the pod and still carries the slight yellow tint apparent in all orca calves. Her dark brown eyes are round and uncharacteristically large, especially compared to her mother Takara’s. Kamea is truly adorable, and we all agree she has a look of wide-eyed wonder.
As the youngest animal in the pod, Kamea enjoys all types of enrichment devices and activities, so our daily interactions are never the same. She plays with nearly any toy I give her and, on occasion, will even toss them in hard-to-reach places so she can creatively retrieve them with the splash of a big wave.
Like many youngsters, her excitement for toys sometimes includes those being used by others. She’s been known to “steal” toys from other whales that willingly drop it and move along when they see the youngest calf of the matriarch heading toward them.
Among Kamea’s favorite playtime activities is playing “catch” with kelp with her half-sibling, Sakari. They love to share pieces of kelp, shooting them back and forth with their mouths, and sometimes even throw it out of the pool to entice me or another trainer to join the game.
While she enjoys interaction with other whales, particularly with Takara and Sakari, it has been wonderful to see she’s becoming just as comfortable venturing out on her own. Ever-curious and always up for new interactions and discovery, Kamea can often be found playing with guests at the glass after shows.
Kamea was born to Takara and was sired through artificial insemination from Kshamenk, a killer whale who resides at a marine park in Argentina.
What an amazing experience to see Kamea being born! I’ve had the privilege to watch as she grows, learns new behaviors and socializes with the whales in her pod, especially her mother Takara and big sister Sakari. Kamea inspires me to be fun and playful in every interaction and warms the hearts of anyone who meets her.
-Amy, Animal Trainer