Whale Wednesday: Spotlight on Stella

This week on Whale Wednesday, we’re going to take a look at a whale currently residing in Japan. She’s called Stella, and has been in captivity since 1987. There isn’t really much I can say about Stella and her life, as it isn’t hugely documented on the web.

However, I think every captive orca should be acknowledged, so I will do my best to fill you in on her life as far as my resources will let me!


Stella is a 100% Icelandic whale and was captured off the coast of Seydisfjordur in Iceland in October of 1987 at the young age of one years old along with three other whales.

She was transferred to Harfnarfjordur Aquarium with the 3 other orca where she resided until March of 1988. She was then transferred to Kamogawa Sea World in Japan, where she became the matriarch.

In December of 2011, Stella was moved from Kamogawa to the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium where she still resides today

Stella’s Temperement

As mentioned previously, there’s not much information available on Stella, but she is apparently an extremely gentle whale, leading to her being used for multiple waterwork sessions while she resided at Kamogowa.

There has been no history of Stella showing aggression to her trainers, even though she hasn’t been involved in any waterwork sessions with them while at Port of Nagoya Aquarium.

She is considered the most successful captive breeding orca in Japan, having given birth to five calves, the first of which was the first successful calf born into captivity in the country. The calf Lovey was born on January 11th, 1998.

How To Identify Stella

Stella is one of the smaller whales to feature in this series so far. She weighs around 4,850lbs and measures at 17 feet long.

She has quite a distinct brown stain on her jaw line, and her dorsal fin is collapsing over to her left hand side.

I would love to learn more about Stella and her family who reside in Japan. If any of my readers know where I can find more detailed information, I’d love it if you could message me over on my Facebook and Twitter, or even leave me a message below. The Japanese orca seem to be the hardest to research, and it really makes me sad that I can’t learn more about these beautiful creatures.


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