Okura's avatar

Who is Shamu? Poster

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By Okura   |   
© 2013 - 2020 Okura

There is now a mini site for further information on these individuals. You can visit it here: www.orcaaware.org/the-forgotte… 

First Revision: Have tidied up the text boxes, added the first organization supporter logo, link and Q-Code scanner. Renamed to 'Who is Shamu?'
Second Revision: Have added Orca Research Trust and Free Morgan Foundation as supporters and links to them in description.
Third Revision: Discovered an error on Kalina and have since corrected.

Orca Aware - www.orcaaware.co.uk
Orca Research Trust - www.orcaresearch.org
Free Morgan Foundation - www.freemorgan.org 


Contact Details
If you wish to contact me to use this, please contact me at okuraorca (at) hotmail.com, so then I can arrange it to be send to you full sized.
You are more than welcome to share this about and print to use to help raise awareness.


EXTREMELY HUGE FILE if you are going full sized. This is set to an A1 poster sized resolution.

Here is my completed project.
Several weeks of research, drawing, art and so forth.
I am planning more, but this is the first one of my series.

I created this project as something big to be shared and printed for posters to be shared about. I always felt it was cruel and cold for SeaWorld to allow a whale to die and how they never seem to do anything to remind people of them. But all of them had horrible ways they died that people don't know about.
The empty spaces are for some logos and a Q-Code that will later be able to be scanned for more information.

Edit 1 (16Nov13): I have been working on a collaboration mini-site with Orca Aware to further promote the stories of these orcas. As of today, I've added a link to the mini-site as well as adding the Q-Code and Orca Aware logos. More will be added over time, but this is the first revision of the poster.

A few notes:
Corky's calves may have mostly been born outside of SeaWorld, but one miscarriage was at San Diego and Corky is still there. They are worthy of being part of this.
Morgan was captured from the wild and taken into captivity. Until she is released, she is still a wild capture, like it or not.

Important Notice

Before you comment, think twice.
I don't care if you are pro-captivity.
This is facts about the animals presented.
Arguing the point of pro-captivity is a pain and I do not care for it on my art. I have had threats and abuse slung at friends and family before and will not tolerate it here.
If you do not agree to this DO NOT COMMENT. It's that simple.
It's fine to have a discussion, but if you are simply going to bash and call it or me things, then keep it to yourself.

Finally, a great big thank you to James, who assisted with this, and everyone else who has assisted in anyway. You all know who you are and I thank you.

Logos of the supporters organisations belong to them and are used with permission.

Image size
7016x9933px 24.01 MB
anonymous's avatar
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berrypass's avatar
berrypassStudent Digital Artist
I really cannot stand SeaWorld...
Miss-Barker's avatar
Miss-BarkerHobbyist Digital Artist
You can't really blame SeaWorld when an animal dies from labor complications. That happens in the wild, too.

Just saying.
IzzyDoesThings's avatar

🤦🏼‍♀️ The thing is that most labour complications are caused by bad health and how did those orcas end up with such bad health. Well having no space to swim, being feed week-old fish, being injured by other orcas and so much more. So yeah you can blame SeaWorld nothing they do is good or helpful for the poor animal may seem like its but it's not.

orlandogal22's avatar
Kandu slammed into Corky. Not a wall. Kandu hemorrhaged into the nasal passages. Kandu didn't like Corky's interest in her calf. All easily researched. Kandu was intent on raking, or perhaps she was performing the act of lunging, as is seen in the wild, toward Corky, the smaller female. I may not 100% agree with you on all of this, but at the very least remove the mention of the wall in your poster because it's inaccurate. Cheers -
Okura's avatar
OkuraHobbyist Traditional Artist
Sure thing.
ceallen956's avatar
Just found out that Tilikum died today. He was probably 36 years old. Think maybe you'll do a poster oh him?

Can I just say that I absolutely love your artwork and that you're doing an amazing job to raise awareness about orca captivity.
DrowElfMorwen's avatar
DrowElfMorwenHobbyist Digital Artist
Wow. I found this on "The Forgotten Orca" website. I've loved orcas since I was young and know of several--like Keiko and Corky and Tilikum.... it's so horrible what has happened to all of these whales. Wonderfully made, and sad graphic chart. 
Thesckass20's avatar
A simple question.without "buts"
As many anti-captivity activists that say "free all the whales" would you free a whale that didn't see the sea since  it's birth?  

Yes...  They can be trained to be wild,  but later they wouldn't be accepted in any pod since they are a lot of mixed breeds. 

By the way ¿What's wrong also with breeding them in captivity?  That avoids a lot of hunts of wild specimen and there still would be show. 
All it would be needed is to wait for the females to reach sexual maturity.

Just wondering as a neutral-pro.
Okura's avatar
OkuraHobbyist Traditional Artist
First of all, it comes down to the individual and the ethics of it. It's not responsible to release an orca that couldn't handle the ocean and not something that would be done. That said though, if a young orca could learn this and be released in waters safely and integrated into a pod that is mostly of it's own blood, this wouldn't be a *too* bigger issue.
However that is somewhat wishful thinking. The general reality of it would be retire to a sea pen where they could live out the rest of their lives in a relatively sized environment that is natural and filled with plenty of natural stimuli.

Breeding them in captivity is based on the simple logic these are animals not suited for captivity. To breed them in captivity, for an environment they aren't suited just for profit is the issue. SeaWorld pops out the babies as fast as they can, with no planning or consideration of the mother's health, physical or mental.
Gudrun and her daughter Taima both died from excessive breeding, not allowing their bodies the time to recover and starting at younger than normal ages.
The babies should live with their mother's their entire lives, but SeaWorld shuffles them as desired. Some mothers never see their babies ever again.
SeaWorld also AIs the orcas, to produce babies that they want, regardless if the mother wants to be a mother or not, and at very young ages (Kalia was WAY too young to have a baby).

The fact of the matter is, orcas are not suited for captivity. Some animals can adapt, but some cannot. Consider how there are no great white sharks in captivity, because they cannot create environments that can sustain a shark like that beyond a certain age. Orcas, while they may cope better in a captive environment, doesn't mean they cope well.
Sure, they survive longer than say a great white in captivity, but that doesn't mean they have a good life.

We've learnt a lot about them in the time since they were captured in the 60's. Back then, we didn't know and now we do. We know better and it's not okay to turn a blind eye to what's happened and say, oh well, we learned from it, when we continue to let it happen today.
Thesckass20's avatar
I agree with you on the first things...

But just think about it,  if those issues were fixed i wouldnt put a objection and would stop the hunt of wild specimens.

SW has recently said that they are going to make bigger tanks+current simulators. But my idea was more simple 

Sea pens  used for shows, it would fix the problem of the still water and bent dorsal problem 

Basically my idea is to keep the specimen in a semi-wild state. Im still doing some research about it 

But i forgot to ask you a question i really wanted to ask

¿Why orcas in captivity after months of training get... Well a bit "agressive"?
Okura's avatar
OkuraHobbyist Traditional Artist
Aggression... hmmm... Not a simple answer.
There's no one single answer to it really, but the general idea comes down to a combination of two factors.

The first is you can train an animal as much as you want, but you'll never remove it's natural instincts and desires. These will always trump any type of training or conditioning.
Case in point; a house cat is fed well enough and given a lot of stimuli from it's owners, but a lot of them will still kill birds and mice, because it's their instincts. Even with hundreds of years of domestication, we cannot over-ride the natural instincts of any animal.
The true is the same even with humans, with our own survival instincts.

The next ties into it, being that the animals are extremely bored and frustrated.
Orcas are creatures that in the wild, never stop moving, live in a world that is dynamic and ever changing. Their natural instincts are to explore and not be confinded. In captivity, they are stripped of this and forced to live in empty, barren tanks. The only stimuli they get is the other orcas (who may not even speak the same dialect as them) or the toys trainers give when they want to give them.
Both of these are only so much use. So boredom sets in, frustration grows and eventually, they have to take it out on something. Look at zoo keepers or lion tamers that have trained the same creature they worked with for years when it suddenly turns on them without warning.
And given orcas are the apex predator in the sea that has some major hunting and space requirements that are denied to them in captivity, this is going compound the issue on them all the more so.

There's a lot more to the issue on aggression, but this is as decent and simple a summary of it as I can think of.
Thesckass20's avatar
I see. 

But it's possible to keep an animal in a mid-wild state?  that's maybe the key. 
Okura's avatar
OkuraHobbyist Traditional Artist
Only in part.
A sea pen can allow more natural stimuli, currents, interest and freedom.
Less walls and constant change, which will help. It adds more to the animals lifes.

But that's the limit it. It offers -more- but not the complete needs the animal's instincts require.
Orcas can travel in groups up to and beyond 5000kms. There's no way a tank or any sea pen could ever replicate that.
tgray9937's avatar
tgray9937Hobbyist Digital Artist
Moby Doll was the first orca to be captive
Okura's avatar
OkuraHobbyist Traditional Artist
Actually, that was Wanda. Moby Doll came after.

But as Shamu states, "The first orca captured with the intention to be sold." I didn't claim her to be the first captured. :)
tgray9937's avatar
tgray9937Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think SeaWorld takes better care of there orcas then Miami sea aquarium what do you think
Okura's avatar
OkuraHobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh there's no doubt that SeaWorld is the top tier when it comes to facilities and all.

But that's besides the point when we're talking about animals not suited for captivity like orcas. It's effectively saying that SeaWorld runs the best orca prison in the world, but it's still a prison no matter how they try to dress it up.
LycanthropeChild's avatar
LycanthropeChildHobbyist Digital Artist
This is so sad! Save the whales, don't replace them just to cause unnecessary deaths! <3
acepredator's avatar
I'm not against captive animals, but Orcinus orca is impossible, and not because of how smart they are (animals even smarter than orcas, like corvids, can be kept reasonably). They just move too much, and their sonar worsens this.
HaxEX2's avatar
HaxEX2Student Traditional Artist
I only have a few words to say.

Seaworld, you frikkin' idiots. These Orcas have beautiful lives that you have destroyed without any pints of sympathy.
gen123d's avatar
gen123dHobbyist Digital Artist
Save the whales!!
berrypass's avatar
berrypassStudent Digital Artist
They're actually not whales. Whales have no teeth and multiple baleen plates. Orcas are specifically delphinids, but the suborder in general can simply be described as "toothed cetaceans". Other cetaceans mistakenly called "whales" are narwhals, belugas, and sperm whales.
Holly--Jolly's avatar
Holly--JollyProfessional General Artist
Oh man....I found this via Tumblr. When I was a kid, I went to SeaWorld San Antonio, which means I saw Taku. 
anonymous's avatar
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