Whale Wednesday: Spotlight on Kyuquot

We’re back with another installment of Whale Wednesday! I held off posting last week after the sad news broke that Tilikum was gravely ill and it was looking like SeaWorld were expecting him to pass away quite suddenly.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t extremely sad about this news, which is why I decided against posting, especially as the next whale in the series is very closely related to the big guy.

However, as SeaWorld refuses to give an update on his condition, we’ll commence with the series! This week we’re taking a look at Kyuquot (kai-you-ket), a large bull who resides as Sea World San Antonio.

His Life

12 - ky

Kyuquot is the first calf that Tilikum sired, and was conceived and born at Sealand of the Pacific – Tilikum’s first performance home where he and Ky’s mother were involved in the drowning of Keltie Byrne.

He was born on December 24th 1991 to Haida 2, but wasn’t destined to stay at the park long, as all three whales were scheduled be moved after the incident occurred at the park. Haida was incredibly protective over Kyuquot, and was often witnessed pushing Tilikum away and penning him in the tiny pod that the whales were kept in overnight.

Ky, Tuar and the late Unna. Via Tilikum16

Ky and his mother were sent to SeawWorld San Antonio in 1993 and his mother quickly became the established matriarch at the park.

In return, Ky was incredibly close to his mother and was understandably distressed when she passed away in 2001.

Being a social whale, Ky became close with many of the females who passed through the Texas park, but has never successfully sired a calf of his own. He is also known to show dominance over other whales from time to time which can often upset the social structure of the artificial pod.

What’s Kyuquot Like?

Ky is known as one of SeaWorld San Antonio’s most impressive whales, especially when it comes to performing. He is the second largest in SeaWorld’s collection, only dwarfed by his father Tilikum.

He has a wide range of skills hat he is able to perform, including lifting his huge body up and out of the water with ease. He is over 9,000 lbs and 22 feet long, so I think you’ll agree that is some feat!

However, Ky has been known to be quite moody at times and has been known to refuse to participate in shows or even follow through with behaviors.

He was also involved in a few incidents with trainers, the most notable being his attack on trainer Steve Aibel in 2004.
**WARNING** Video below depicts the attack as filmed by a park guest.

While doing water work with him, the trainer soon found himself the brunt of Ky’s power. The whale constantly dunked him and swam over him, blocking every exit that Steve had tried to make.

Luckily Steve wasn’t hurt, but further waterwork with Kyuquot was forbidden.

How to Identify Ky

Ky is the largest whale at San Antonio, but it can be quite difficult to differentiate him from Tuar.

He has quite a flat- topped left false eyepatch, and his dorsal fin is fully collapsed to the left (much like Tilly’s).

He also has very curled flukes.

The image used in my banner image is copyright to Laura “SeaWolf”, I claim no copyright over it! Doesn’t he look impressive, though?

What do you think of Ky? Let me know over on Facebook or Twitter… or even in the comments below!

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