Shamu was a 10 year old female orca who was captured in the USA on October 31, 1965. She passed away on August 29, 1971 at SeaWorld San Diego.

Shamu was originally captured to be a companion for a male killer whale Namu. Unfortunately, the two didn't get along and she was soon sold to SeaWorld. She was moved to their park in San Diego on December 20, 1965 and was the first orca to be held at the park. She was the only whale at the park for the first couple years until she met Kilroy and Ramu in 1967. She got along well with the two males as well as Kandu when she moved to the park in 1969.

Shamu was the star of the park and learned to participate in shows. She was also trained for waterworks in which she did well. Shamu became so well known that her name has been continuously used as a stage name for SeaWorld's killer whales today and is prominently used throughout the parks.

Sadly, Shamu became ill in 1971 and passed away on August 29 from septicemia and pyometra.




Age at Capture-Approximately 4

Place of Capture-Carr Inlet, Washington, USA

Date of Death-8/29/71

Place of Death-SeaWorld San Diego

Cause of Death-Septicemia/Pyometra


  • Unknown (Southern Residents)

Origin of Kandu

  • Combination of "She" and "Namu"
  • Pronounced: sha MOO


  • 100% Southern Residents

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