Whale Wednesday: Spotlight on Keet

Welcome back, whale fans! I’m super sorry that there was no post last Wednesday; I felt so ill that I couldnt even stand up – damn new medication and its unexpected side effects!

This week, though, we’re back in full force by taking a look at the next orca on our list, the big, gentle giant, Keet!

Keet’s Captive Life

14 - Keet

Keet is a 23 year old bull orca who currently resides at SeaWorld San Diego. He was born on the 2nd of February, 1993 at SeaWorld San Antonio to his parents Kalina – the original baby Shamu and daughter of the formiddable Katina – and Kotar, making him half brother to Takara.

His life with his mother was short lived. After a year and a half of swimming alongside his mother, Kalia was moved to Orlando after becoming pregnant again with Keet’s younger brother, the notorious Keto.

This separation was said to have upset Keet quite a bit, but he doesn’t appear to distance himself from other whales – which is always a plus!

Keets Little Family

Keet has sired two calves himself, one being to San Diego matriarch Kasatska, who gave birth to Kalia on December 21st, 2004 and one to Kayla who was named Halyn and was born on October 9th, 2005. Sadly, as we mentioned in her spotlight, Kayla rejected Halyn and the calf died in June of 2008 at just over 2 years of age.

After her mother rejected her, it was decided to introduce Halyn to her father to see how they got on. Keet was an incredible father, something that’s not seen very often, as male whales usually play little to no role in the raising of a calf.

However, Keet proved to be a dedicated father, if a little lazy sometimes. He was often seen playing with his daughter and teaching her the ways of the orca world. As she got older, Halyn became a little too boisterous for poor Keet, but he didn’t really seem to mind her boundless energy too much!

His only remaining daughter, Kalia, gave Keet a grandson in December of 2014, giving birth to Amaya.

His Temperament

Keet is known to be one of the gentler whales in SeaWorld’s collection , and as far as I can tell from the various incident reports, there has been no incidents of aggression towards his trainers.

He is a social whale, and can often be seen swimming with Corky, Orkid, Shouka and Ikaika, as well as playing around with the younger calf Makani and his granddaughter Amaya.

How to Identify Keet

To identify Keet when he’s not in the show pool is quite easy. He’s often seen logging near one of the gates of the back pools with the top of his head resting against the side of the pool, sometimes blowing bubbles against the flat surface. Although many people find this quirky behaviour endearing, it always makes me feel a little sad when I see videos of him like that.

His dorsal fin has collapsed to his right, and he also has a c shape in his right false eyepatch.

Here he is logging on his side as I have mentioned, plus a great close up of his right eyepatch shape!

He is often compared to his younger brother Keto looks wise, but his brother currently resides in Loro Parque.

Isn’t he a beautiful animal? Keet’s story makes me sad, seeing him log listlessly, making his own entertainment by blowing bubbles against the side of his tank. Let’s end this; let’s show Keet and the rest that although the breeding programme has come to an end that we haven’t forgotten all the orca that are still in those tanks!

Don’t fund their prison sentence, raise awarenss of the detrimental effects of cetacean captivity and most importantly, remember they are all individual animals who are self aware.

Feel free to head over to my Facebook page where I update (almost) daily, or to my Twitter feed to chat more about killer whales!

Banner image credit: mliu92Z|CC Attribution ShareAlike 2.0|All rights reserved

3 thoughts on “Whale Wednesday: Spotlight on Keet

  1. Your whale Wednesday posts are incredibly insightful! After just watching the blackfish documentary I just can’t stand to see these poor whales be forced to resort to such behavior simply due to how unhappy and uncomfortable they are in captivity


    1. Thank you so much! Blackfish really opened my eyes to the captivity world, too. These animals don’t deserve this treatment and hopefully more people will see this now that Blackfish is having such an impact!

      I’m so glad you are enjoying the series! Every whale has a story, and I want people to know that they aren’t all just “shamu”- they are individuals!

      Liked by 1 person

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