SeaWorld’s most notorious killer whale who attacked five of its trainers

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A vicious killer whale protested a life of captivity at SeaWorld when it snapped a woman's neck and attempted to drown another four keepers in its enclosure.

Kandu 5 racked up a total of five terrifying attacks during its time at the controversial water park in California.

She was only a calf she was captured off the coast of Iceland in October 1977, and was first taken to the Dolfinarium Harderwijk marine park in the Netherlands before being transported to America later in the year.

Despite being a talented performer who was made to perform regularly in front of large crowds, Kandu 5 displayed numerous aggressive outbursts over her 11 years in captivity before dying during a tragic incident in a live show in 1989.

One of her first major assaults took place in 1981, when she slammed one of her trainers against the wall.

Three years later, in 1984 she bit female trainer Joanne Hay, and grabbed the legs of another trainer a few months after.

A successful mating with a male orca led to Kandu 5 becoming pregnant four years later, but her child was sadly born stillborn in 1985.

The arrival of another male named Orky at SeaWorld saw her pregnant with a second calf and she gave birth in September 1988.

But tragedy struck again just days after the arrival of their young when the father died — beginning what many believe was a spiral that saw her behaviour become more and more violent and unpredictable.

Her most infamous incident came on March 4, 1986 when she grabbed a 21-year-old trainer named Jonathan Smith by the teeth and dragged him to the bottom of the tank.

She then spat him out when she reached the surface, leaving a stunned audience to witness him waving to them while bleeding profusely.

Both whales then body-slammed him and repeatedly dragged him to the depths of the pool in an ordeal that lasted two and a half minutes, leaving him with a bruised torso, bruised ribs, a ruptured kidney, and a serious gash to his liver.

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Kandu 5 repeated the attack three months later on a young woman named Joanne Webber, resulting in her neck being fractured.

A final tragic accident in 1989 saw her fracture her jaw during a live show as she angrily bolted towards another orca.

Taken to a tank located to the rear of the public pool, she bled to death as her calf Orkid helplessly watched the second of her parents die.

  • SeaWorld
  • Animals

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