I’d like you to meet my friend Keet!
If you see a killer whale (also known as Orcinus orca or “orca”) at SeaWorld San Diego taking an afternoon nap at the water’s surface, chances are that it’s Keet. Keet’s parents are Kalina and Kotar, and he was the first second-generation zoo-born orca in the world! Keet was later bred with Kasatka who gave birth to Kalia in 2004. Kalia recently gave birth to Amaya.
Keet is very versatile socially and is able to fit into many different social groupings. He really seems to enjoy time with Corky, his daughter Kalia and solo time with our other adult male Ulises.
Keet displays a behavior that is unique to him. He enjoys blowing bubbles out of his blowhole against a flat surface. We often see him doing this while on his free time. He enjoys the sensation of the bubbles as they bounce off the wall and hit him on his “melon” – what we would call our forehead. Keet, who is 19 feet long, also enjoys playing with toys! Some of his favorite toys are those made out of fire hose. He will drape the fire hose over his dorsal fin, pectoral flippers and flukes and drag them around. He also loves to throw the big heavy toys around the pool and makes it look easy!
Keet and I share the same birthday. I’m a few years older than him, but our birthday is Feb. 2. Born in 1993 at SeaWorld San Antonio, Keet is a gentle giant and at 7,700 pounds, he loves nothing more than to spend quiet time with his trainers getting “loved on.” Just like Corky, Keet is very sweet-natured and easygoing, and is one of the first whales that new trainers meet and build a relationship with. He’s such a joy to get to know. He’s also very smart, and although he prefers low energy interactions to exercise, he learns new behaviors very quickly.
-Vicki, Senior 1 Animal Trainer
- Born: February of 1993
- Weighs 7,700 pounds
- Measures 19 feet long
- Research Involved In: audiogram (hearing) study, photographic assessment of body shape changes study, breath sampling (CO/CO2) study
Vicki, Senior 1 Animal Trainer
I have more than 15 years of animal training experience from several zoological facilities, and those opportunities gave me the chance to work with many species including, of course, killer whales.