Kalia, which means beautiful, was born Dec. 21, 2004.

For the first several months of her life, Kalia stayed very close to her mother, Kasatka. However, Kalia came out of her shell at around nine months old, when she began interacting regularly with trainers.

Over the years, she has learned many complex behaviors, and she has really come into her own as a young adult killer whale (also known as Orcinus orca or “orca”). In 2013, Kalia experienced the birth of her new baby brother Makani. During her mother Kasatka’s pregnancy and labor, Kalia was right by her side.

As Makani grew, Kalia could be seen routinely swimming with him giving Kasatka a break from her motherly duties. These were very good signs, because in December 2014, Kalia gave birth to her first calf Amaya. It was such a privilege to be there and see Kalia progress through her pregnancy and delivery, and see her become a wonderful mother.

I first met Kalia when she was a little more than 3 years old and was still considered the “baby” of our killer whale family. I quickly started building my relationship with Kalia, and I loved how much excitement she showed us as her trainers.

As a father myself, it has been amazing watching, learning and sharing in Kalia’s journey.

-Mike, Senior 1 Animal Trainer

Quick Facts

  • Born: December of 2004
  • Female
  • Weighs 4,500 pounds
  • Measures 15 feet long
  • Distinguishing Physical Characteristics: three black spots in her white patch
  • Research involved in: audiogram (hearing) study, photographic assessment of body shape changes study, breath sampling (CO/CO2) study

Mike, Senior 1 Animal Trainer


I have worked with various types of marine mammals from polar bears, seals, sea lions, walruses, dolphins and, of course, my favorite, killer whales.