If you’ve been waiting for Takara to come up on Whale Wednesday (and I know there have been a few!) then you’re in luck! This week is Takara’s time in the spotlight, and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t been looking forward to spotlighting her for a very long time!
Her Birth and Life at San Diego
Takara is a 24 year old captive born orca who currently resides at Sea World San Antonio with two of her offspring.
However, her life hasn’t always been in Texas; she was born to the notorious SeaWorld San Diego matriarch Kasatka and the now deceased Kotar on July 9th, 1991.
She lived with her mother at the San Diego park for the first 13 years of her life and the mother-daughter pair had become well known for their incredibly close bond. Takara was present when the matriarch gave birth to her second calf, giving her a good role model to look up to when she eventually became a mother.
Her Role as a Mother
Takara would soon become the mother to her first calf a year later, with Kohana being born on May 3rd, 2002. Kohana’s father is Tilikum and she was concieved through atificial insemination.
In 2004, Takara would be moved away from her own mother along with Kohana to the Florida park. This move is documented in Blackfish and it has been reported that Kasatka became upset – maybe even depressed – that her first born had disappeared from her life. In my opinion, I have no doubt she felt distraught – especially as their bond was so close.
In 2005, Takara gave birth to Trua, who would later beecome Tilikum’s tank mate for a few years – Trua is also his grandson. This was because as Trua began to grow older, Takara began to act more dominant over him and so he was gated away from his mother.
In 2009, Takara was taken to SeaWorld San Antonia while she was pregnant with another of Tilikum’s calves and on January 7th, 2010, Sakari was born. At the time, Takara and Sakari spent a lot of time with another female at the park named Unna, who sadly passed away recently before I could cover her in a spotlight.
Takara would become a mother for the 4th time in 2013 when baby Kamea was born, again a result of AI.
According to many sources, Takara is incredibly sweet natured. In fact, if you’d like to learn more about her, I’d recommend reading John Hargrove’s “Beneath the Surface” where he details many interactions with this sweet girl who obviouly cares a great deal for her trainers – especially John, it seems.
She has been known to have a dominant personality, but could you really expect anything else from Kasatka’s daughter?
How to Identify Her
Takara has a very prominent brown stain on her chin which is increedibly hard to miss. She also has a very distinct left false eyepatch which has a finger-like point to the front of it. This patch also contains an obvious freckle which is very similar to her mother’s.
Takara is 17 feet long and weighs under 5,000 lbs – I can’t find any specific data, however,
I know I say this a lot, but Takara is possibly my favourite orca. From what I’ve read and researched, she’s kind, gentle and so sweet – even when her trainers appear to need help, she will be there.
Have I covered your favourite whale so far? If not, keep checking back – there’s still plenty more to learn about!