Horror of SeaWorld’s most violent orca Kandu 5 who attacked FIVE trainers

ONE of SeaWorld California’s most notorious killer whales in captivity once broke a young woman’s neck and tried to drown another trainer by dragging her to the bottom of her tank.

In just three years, female orca Kandu 5 was involved in five different violent incidents, including one that was captured on camera by horrific spectators, for her own gray death.


SeaWorld orca Kandu 5 was involved in a horrific incident with a trainer in March 1987Credit: YouTube
She performs next to another orca


She performs next to another orcaCredit: inherentlywild / Katie Bylczynski
Young coach Jonathan Smith suffered a number of injuries and was nearly drowned


Young coach Jonathan Smith suffered a number of injuries and was nearly drownedCredit: YouTube

Kandu 5 was just a calf when it was caught off the coast of Iceland in October 1977.

She was soon bought by SeaWorld and transferred to their park in San Diego, California in December of that year.

From the offset, Kandu would struggle with life in captivity and seemed to rebel against her trainers.

She became pregnant with her first calf after mating with a male orca named Winston, but tragically was born in January 1986, and death seemed to trigger an escalation in Kandu’s aggressive behavior.

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A year later, two more killer whales, Orky 2 and Corky 2, male and female, respectively, were relocated to San Diego.

Orky and Kandu soon mated and she became pregnant with her second calf, born in September 1988.

Further tragedy would follow, however, with Orky 2 dying just days after the birth of his daughter, whom SeaWorld workers named Orkid in his honor.

In the space just a few years before her own death in August 1989, Kandu was involved in five incidents involving trainers in the park, earning her a reputation as one of the most violent killer whales ever. were held at SeaWorld.

SeaWorld says it has drastically changed its practices and that the types of incidents in which Kandu 5 is involved can never take place.

A SeaWorld spokesman said earlier: “Trainers have not trained in the water or performed with killer whales at SeaWorld since 2012.

“There have been no incidents as described in this article since these changes were made more than a decade ago.

“Our hundreds of veterinarians and healthcare specialists provide world-class medical care.

“None of the killer whales in our care live a solitary life and they participate in positive reinforcement sessions daily, and participate in a variety of different activities to ensure they get enough physical and mental exercise.

“In addition, the study of orcas in our care by our scientists and third-party organizations has directly informed the world about knowledge and ability to protect whales in the wild.”

The Sun Online has approached SeaWorld for comment.


Kandu’s most infamous moment came on March 4, 1987, when she had been in the park for more than nine years.

While performing alongside the 10-year-old female orca Kenau, Kandu was ridden by a young trainer Jonathan Smith, 21.

Suddenly, Kandu grabbed Smith by the teeth and dragged him to the bottom of the tank, before carrying him, bleeding, back to the surface and spitting him out.

With the attack taking place in front of a shocked audience, Smith tried to keep the audience calm by waving at them.

However, suddenly, a second orca struck him.

Smith went on to say he was not injured when both whales struck him several times, dragging him to the bottom of the 32-foot-deep pool during a terrifying encounter that lasted nearly two and a half minutes.

Among his long list of injuries were a series of cuts to his torso, bruises, a broken kidney, and a six-inch blow to his liver.

Surprisingly, he was able to escape and get out of the pool, but continued to pursue the park the following March.

He claimed that officials hid the “dangerous tendency of killer whales” for him and assured him that it was safe to participate in the shows, even though he had no formal training.

The park charged with fraud, battery and emotional distress, its case was settled out of court, with a gag order imposed as part of the settlement agreement.

This was not the first warning sign that Kandu hated to be imprisoned, nor would it be the last.


Just three months after attacking Jonathan Smith, Kandu left a female trainer with a broken neck in a shocking incident.

During a training session on June 15, Kandu landed on top of coach Joanne Webber, 25, and pushed her to the bottom of the pool.

Webber, who had five years of experience working with orcs, suffered a broken neck when the adult 6,000-pound orca crushed it.

She later pursued SeaWorld, accusing the park and its parent company of negligence and fraud.

In a lawsuit filed in San Diego Superior Court in June 1988, she said she was told the whales were “safe” and “soft” before entering the pool.

She also claimed that her injuries were aggravated by SeaWorld workers who made her take her wetsuit out of the park and walk to an ambulance so that it was not damaged by paramedics trying to remove it at the hospital.

In her complaint, she claimed that park workers “knew full well that killer whales had a dangerous tendency to attack, ram, drag and throw people in the pool,” but did not tell them.

She also claimed that staff knew the whales were “capable of uncontrollable irregular behavior, aggression and attack”, but nevertheless placed a new and “known dangerous” male orca near the females, increasing “the chance of irregular behavior and attack” increased.

As with Smith, Webber’s case was settled out of court with a gag order, which means that the thousands of pages of prepared evidence of her and Smith’s case can never be seen.

The fight was initiated by Kandu. She maintained her dominance by going to Corky with her mouth open

Jim McBainVeterinarian, SeaWorld


On February 23, 1984, the seven-year-old Kandu performed with a young female coach, Joanne Hay.

Suddenly, the enormous orca, weighing about 4,000 pounds, took Joanne in her mouth and pinned her against a wall.

Although she was normally a good performer at SeaWorld, she had shown aggressive behavior towards her trainers several times.

After the incident with Joanne, she was described as a “voice” orca, and water work in which she was involved was kept to a minimum.


Later that year, Kandu was involved in another incident involving a female trainer.

During a show on November 2, she briefly grabbed the legs of coach Georgia Jones.

Fortunately, however, this time she released the coach unhurt.

The incident took place during a Shamu show, which was the stage name used for various orcs performing in the inmates at SeaWorld.

In the early 1960’s, the show’s name was originally named after a shamu orca named Shamu, but after its death in 1971, SeaWorld gave the name a trademark and gave it to various orcs over the years.


Just over two years later, Kandu was involved in another incident involving a trainer.

During a Shamu show, she pinned trainer Mark Beeler for several seconds with her snout against the wall of her pool, and only released him when she was called back to a stage area by another trainer.

The horrific scenes unfolded in front of an audience with almost capacity in the Shamu Stadium of nearly 3,000 people.

At the time, Sea World spokesman George Stalle said killer whales occasionally pinned new trainers against walls to test their response to the situation.

Most of the time, such an incident would occur if a whale and trainer were not known to each other, and Beeler, although he had worked at SeaWorld for about a year, had not worked with Kandu before.

Fortunately, he was uninjured during the incident.

Kandu performs for full stadiums in SeaWorld California


Kandu performs for full stadiums in SeaWorld CaliforniaCredit: inherentlywild / Orcaholic
Kandu 5 died in shocking conditions in 1989


Kandu 5 died in shocking conditions in 1989Credit: inherentlywild / Seaworld


On August 21, 1989, Kandu’s life came to a shocking, grim end.

At this point, there were only three orcs in the park, Kandu, her daughter Orkid, and Corky, another woman.

Corky came close to Orkid, which Kandu, as the dominant female, did not like, and became protective.

During the fateful final performance, Corky and Orkid performed together in front of a full stadium, while Kandu was in one of the side pools.

Suddenly, Kandu entered the showpool and swam behind the larger female Corky, ramming her at full speed with her mouth open.

Although Corky was fine, Kandu broke her jaw, and cut a large artery in her nasal passages.

She died with blood sprayed from her bladder hole in front of horrible spectators.

As SeaWorld fat Jim McBain told the LA Times at the time: “The altercation was initiated by Kandu. She asserted her dominance by going to Corky with her mouth open.

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“It’s just behavior. For the survival of any species, the stronger animal must rule.

“The death was an unexpected shock, but the fight was not at all a rare event. It was normal behavior.”

Horror of SeaWorld’s most violent orca Kandu 5 who attacked FIVE trainers Source link Horror of SeaWorld’s most violent orca Kandu 5 who attacked FIVE trainers

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