Shortly after arriving at Seaworld San Diego in 2011, Ikaika received this deep gash-like rake mark from the others.
Orca social structure is very delicate in the wild- only family members stay together, and the pod is very cohesive, thus meaning social strife is pretty uncommon.
In captivity, Orcas are shipped between park to park to fill pools as needed, and are bred with different ecotypes (ex: an Icelandic and a southern resident, etc), so there is virtually no type of functioning social structure. The Orcas, in a desperate attempt to create some kind of structure, will rake and beat up on each other relentlessly in captivity.
Since Ikaika’s return in 2011, he has not had a very good time in SWSD. He is constantly bullied and raked by the others, and sometimes he himself is the one to rake others.
Captivity doesn’t let these animals have any aspect of a natural life, period.