Meet Shaka at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.
Shaka was caught in the wild on May 27, 1988. Shaka has a son named Kolohe now living in Hawaii. If in the wild, Shaka and Kolohe would likely live together for many years, as sons typically do. Yet, because of corporate greed these two have been separated prematurely, as Shaka was shipped off to live in Atlanta as a performer for profit and entertainment for humans. Marine parks and aquariums do not honor the animal’s natural lives, cultures, or instincts, but instead only care about how much money they can squeeze out of each animal until its (usually premature) death.
She arrived at either Dolphin Quest Bermuda or Dolphin Quest Hawaii on August 20, 1988. Where was she for those 86 days? The lack of clarity arises in the inadequacy of record-keeping.
At least two of her offspring are now living in captivity.
- Lokahi (NOA0003755, JY 94M-2), who is held at Moorea Dolphin Center, French Polynesia, was (according to Moorea Dolphin Center) born on July 8, 1994, at the Dolphin Quest Center at Waikoloa, the Big Island, Hawaii, and arrived in Moorea 0n September 20, 1997.
- Kolohe (NOA0003756, JY 94M-3), who is held at Dolphin Quest, Oahu, was (according to the Marine Mammal Inventory Sheet) born on July 12, 1994, sired by Hobi. He arrived at Dolphin Quest, Oahu, on October 31, 2005.
After the births of Kolohe and Lokahi, Shaka is reported to have lost at least two calves in this effort to breed and supply more captive dolphins:
- a female stillborn calf was born on September 26, 1996, sired by Hobi, and
- a female calf, also sired by Hobi, born on November 3, 1997, who lived 16 days, and died on November 19, 1997.
No records indicate that Shaka subsequently became pregnant or gave birth to more dolphins. Dolphins generally breed only once every five years, because in the wild, the calves nurse from three to 10 years and stay with their mother continuing to learn how to be a dolphin.
So Shaka was busy. Too busy, I’d say. Let’s see. In the wild, they generally give birth only once every five years. Shaka gave birth to four calves in three years.
- July 8, 1994 – Lokahi
- July 12, 1994 – Kolohe
- September 26, 1996 – stillborn female calf
- November 3, 1997 – female calf, died November 19, 1997
Does that sound like care was taken of Shaka to ensure that her health and vitality were safeguarded?
Want to speak up for Shaka’s mistreatment? Attend the Georgia Aquarium “Empty the Tanks” protest on July 27th, 2013 to fight for her rights! To sign up and find more info, look here.