I would love to tell you about a very special whale that I am fortunate to share a relationship with

Kasatka is admired for her bold personality and is the matriarch of our killer whale family (also known as Orcinus orca or “orca”). Estimated to be 41 years old, she is approximately 17 feet long and weighs 4,850 pounds. Kasatka is an incredible mother and loves spending time with her family. She has given birth to four calves at SeaWorld San Diego: Takara, Nakai, Kalia and her youngest, Makani.

Takara and Kalia, have become mothers themselves, as well. In fact, Kastaka is a great-grandmother. One my most memorable moments of Kasatka was watching her give birth to Makani in February 2013 and then seeing Kalia, give birth to Amaya in December 2014. Kasatka not only helped Kalia through labor, Kasatka also helped her care for Amaya for several hours after she was born.

Kasatka is not only an amazing mother, but she is also a great relationship-building whale for trainers. She enjoys big ice cubes, spending time with our male killer whales, and having her flukes rubbed for long periods of time.

-Melissa, Senior 1 Animal Trainer

Kasatka Update:
You may have recently heard some news about Kasatka's health, and we're here to give you the latest updates. See the most recently Kasatka update by clicking here!

Quick Facts

  • Estimated to be 41 years old
  • Female
  • Weighs 4,850 pounds
  • Measures 17 feet long
  • Distinguishing Physical Characteristics: Pointy rostrum, short and stocky compared to the other whales
  • Research involved in: audiogram (hearing) study, photographic assessment of body shape changes study, breath sampling (CO/CO2) study

Melissa, Senior 1 Animal Trainer


I originally started working at Sea World San Diego in 2001 in the education department. I have now been working with killer whales for nearly eight years.