Thursday 12 July 2018 | 13

Shouka, the forgotten one

Shouka is the first orca to be born captive and to have survived in France. She was a friend and a big loving sister. Then, at the end of many trips to dolphinariums around the world and missed reunions with a male with whom she could have had children, she then suffered 10 years of isolation without other cetaceans of her kind! While waiting to finish her days without even having founded her own clan, she now socialises with the oldest of captive orcas.

Hr blog

Shouka is a 24-year-old female orca. She was the first orca to be born and to remain alive in France. Her mother was Sharkane and her father Kim 2.

She is forgotten to often, but she is one of five French captive orcas.

At the time of innocence, Shouka was raised by Sharkane who was still very much friends with Freya. When she was three years old, Freya gave birth to Valentin and the two children became extremely close by playing together. Her own mother gave her two more playmates, Inouk in 1999 and Wikie in 2001, whom she cared for lovingly as a big sister of orcas do.

With all the knowledge acquired from two females born at sea, Shouka would probably have made an excellent mother. Marineland's plans for her were different.

In 2002, after an endless flight, Shouka was first taken to Six Flags in Ohio, USA. She had to meet a "fiancé" named Kshamenk captured in Argentina, but he never arrived. In 2004, she was moved to California's Six Flags, where she had to stay alone for ten long years.

Ten years of isolation! Even American law forbids leaving a cetacean alone without someone of its own kind. Shouka received companion dolphins and had no more contact than with them and the trainers until the end of 2011. After the first attack, she was separated from the dolphin Merlin, then it was Cupid, another great dolphin assigned to keep her company which then also had to be removed from the pool following the rage of this poor orca. After a brief failed attempt to send her to Marineland Canada, it was decided that she would end her days at SeaWorld in California. She arrived there on August 20th2012 almost in emergency: solitude had made her violent and turned her insane to the point of attacking her trainer several times.

In spite of all her hardships, Shouka gradually managed to socialise again, thanks to the loving help of the oldest captive orcas in the world, Corky who is 50 years old.

On the other hand, the one who should have had two or three children at sea will remain alone forever. This is what parks call "conservation of an endangered species". Reproduction is now banned at SeaWorld, and that's good. Orcas should live free, in groups they have chosen!

Photo JerryFrausto - CC BY 2.0 - The photo has been modified to fit the format of the site.

Yvon Godefroid
Hr blog

In the subject

Ode to Orcas: young people speak out for the release of captive orcas
"Imprisoning animals is cruel, whether it’s tigers or orcas"

Comments 13

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Piombu2b | Sunday 15 July 2018


Laura | Saturday 14 July 2018

Contre l'esclavage des animaux!

Sylvie | Friday 13 July 2018

Il y a un des jours qui m'apportera un grand bonheur : le jour où il n'y aura plus besoin de sanctuaires...

trochu | Friday 13 July 2018

Je suis très attristée et bouleversée de voir autant d'exploitations et d'utilisations d'animaux par les humains. Tous ces individus préfèrent fermer les yeux et leurs consciences devant autant de souffrance, de misère, de douleur, de maltraitance et c'est bien à nous défenseurs des animaux de le dénoncer et d'informer au maximum la population en la sensibilisant. Tous ces merveilleux et si intelligents cétacés n'ont rien à faire dans des bassins quels qu'ils soient et doivent être libérés pour pouvoir vivre et s'épanouir en toute liberté et dans le plus grand respect auprès des leurs dans des sanctuaires adaptés à leurs besoins. Le monde serait si beau sans toute cette maltraitance et exploitation d'animaux, mais gardons espoir car les mentalités changent et évoluent bien heureusement grâce aux multiples combats des associations dont ONE VOICE que je remercie très chaleureusement pour prendre la défense et la protection de tous nos cousins les animaux au quotidien.