Killer Whale Care

Killer Whale Social Structures

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SeaWorld’s Expert Care is Second-To-None

With more than 1,500 zoological experts dedicated to the animals in our care, our programs are second to none. They represent pioneering contributions to the zoological community, including the birth of the first killer whale in human care at a SeaWorld park. Today, with 29 killer whales, we care for the largest killer whale population in a zoological facility worldwide.

Get The Facts

  • We do not capture killer whales in the wild.  Due to our groundbreaking research in marine mammal reproduction, we haven’t collected a killer whale from the wild in 35 years.
  • The killer whales in our care benefit those in the wild.  SeaWorld scientists have published more than 30 studies specific to killer whales.
  • We do not separate killer whale moms and calves. SeaWorld’s successful development of its population of killer whales allows us to manage a healthy population of animals, while keeping young calves with their mothers and respecting the whales’ social structure. 
  • SeaWorld’s killer whales’ life spans are equivalent with those in the wild. Five of our animals are older than 30, and one of our whales is close to 50.
  • We invest millions in the care of our whales. In the last three years alone, we have invested $70 million in our killer whale habitats.
  • SeaWorld is a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums.  Our veterinary and zoological staffs are active members and leaders of various professional organizations including the American Association of Zoological Veterinarians, the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine and the International Embryo Transfer Society.