Join in on the fun and celebration of orcas with Shamu the Whale Day!
History of Shamu the Whale Day
Highly intelligent, trainable and striking in their appearance, orcas are killer whales that have been kept in captivity for purposes of breeding as well as entertainment for humans. With their black and white features, orcas are distinctive and large, measuring up to 32 feet long for males and weighing more than 8 tons.
The first female killer whale who was a performer at San Diego’s SeaWorld in the mid 1960s, Shamu was a beloved orca whale. She lived in captivity for just six years until she died in 1971. Shamu was so popular, however, that SeaWorld trademarked the name and many different orcas have performed under this name at the company’s parks.
The first baby Shamu to survive after being born in captivity was given the name “Kalina”. She was born on September 26, 1985, which is the reason for the celebration of National Shamu Day.
Because of questionable practices and treatment of the whales, as well as backlash regarding incidents involving attacks on humans, SeaWorld eventually decided to phase out their orca program, as have many other aquariums across the world.
The idea of Shamu and her orca friends continues to bring up warm feelings at how intelligent and magnificent these creatures are. National Shamu the Whale Day is meant to raise awareness about the plight of these spectacular whales and the beauty they offer to the natural world.
How to Celebrate Shamu the Whale Day
Those who love orcas and killer whales can enjoy celebrating National Shamu the Whale Day in some of these ways:
Learn More about Orca Whales
Raise awareness by getting educated about Shamu and friends, and then sharing the information with others. Start with some of these fun facts:
Orcas, while named “killer whales” by ancient sailors, are actually the largest member of the dolphin family.
Female orcas can live up to 80 years when they are free in the wild.
Though huge, orcas are fast swimmers and have been clocked going more than 50 kph.
The dorsal fin of a male orca can be up to two meters tall.
Make a Donation to Help Orca Whales
One excellent way to get connected on this day is to financially support charities that help with the care and well being of killer whales. Orca conservation is a worthy cause that helps to study, conserve and protect these majestic creatures.
- Born Free. This organization is specifically committed to helping the orcas located off the coast of British Columbia, Canada, especially certain populations that are threatened or endangered in these areas.
- Orca Conservancy. Located in Washington state, USA, this group focuses on the three barriers to orca survival: food, pollution and noise from vessels.
- Whale and Dolphin Conservation. This project allows for making general donations to help save the whales, or to ‘adopt’ one through the Whale Adoption Project which includes a personalized adoption certificate of with the name of a chosen whale, as well as other resources included in the adoption packet.
- ORCA. Looking out for whales and dolphins that reside in UK and European waters, this charitable organization is dedicated to studying, protecting, educating and conserving.