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Meet the Whales: The Salish Seven

The Salish Seven all have ancestry going back to the Salish Sea on the Northwest corner of Turtle Island (North American continent), whose home waters span vast distances of the Pacific Ocean.

From the 1960s to the early 1980s, an entire generation of Orca babies were forcibly taken from their mothers and the ocean by the captive Orca slave industry. Many babies died in the violent captures.

Two of the Salish Seven--Corky II and Orkid--are of A-Pod Northern Resident Orca bloodline. The other five Orcas--Keet, Keto, Tuar, Kalia, and Adán--are descendants of Winston, a Southern Resident Orca, and member of L-Pod, now classified officially as an 'Endangered Species at Risk' population.

Having survived this attack and virtual generational erasure, the Southern Resident Orcas now have only 73 members left. They teeter precariously on the brink of extinction.

Winston was captured from the Salish Sea in 1970 during the notorious Penn Cove captures, some of the worst and most violent atrocities ever committed against our Orca relatives. Lucrative trafficking money was paid by the captive marine slave industry, such as SeaWorld and Miama Seaquarium--a price on each baby's head. During the Penn Cove captures, five Orca babies were killed in the chaos and violence, and the abductors attempted to hide the babies' bodies by cutting them open and filling them with rocks and weights and sinking them out at sea. Their bodies washed ashore later and were discovered on the beaches.

None of the Orcas from these traumatic captures ever experienced their freedom ever again, and none made it out of their whale jails alive.

Captivity for human profit and entertainment was a death sentence for them all.

All of the stolen Orcas, including Winston, heartbreakingly, have died as captives performing circus tricks in exchange for food and stripped of their basic dignity.

More recently, the last surviving abducted Orca from the Penn Cove captures, Sk'aliChel'tenaut, also known as Tokitae (disturbingly also given the slave showgirl name of Lolita), passed away on August 18th, 2023, from numerous ailments caused from captivity. Plans were underway to bring Tokitae home to a sanctuary in Lummi Nation waters of the Salish Sea before her death.

All the members of We Belong to the Sea became acquainted from their dedicated volunteer work to help bring Sk'aliChel'tenaut home to liberation and end decades of slavery. Remarkably, despite a lifetime of unimaginable suffering and cruelty where other Orcas have committed suicide, she never lashed out at her slavers. Instead, she only ever showed love and gentleness that had the power to pen hearts and transform countless humans blessed to be in her highly evolved radiant company.

It is through her inspiring lessons and legacy, and in honor of all the Orcas that have died in captivity, that we continue in this work, to end their suffering and restore the freedom that has been stolen from them.

It is time to bring them all home and right these wrongs that we humans have visited upon them.

It is not too late if we act together now from Love to restore Freedom and Joy to the survivors.


Corky II the Orca perfoming tricks in her captive tank at SeaWorld, Orcas in captivity at SeaWorld, save the orca whales, Haida Orca Sanctuary, We Belong to the Sea

CORKY II (Female, 59 years old)


  • Oldest and longest kept captive Orca, held in captivity for 57 years

  • She is known for being a very gentle natured whale

  • She lost all seven of her babies, the oldest only surviving 47 days in captivity at SeaWorld

  • Corky II still recognizes her family's calls and language more than five decades after her capture and isolation

  • She is so intelligent, she taught her language to a fellow captive Orca named Orkid. Incredibly, they communicate in this specific Orca A-Pod language and dialect

  • She is the only surviving wild-captured Orca left alive

  • She was taken by force near Pender Harbor, BC, Canada in 1969 at the age of 4

  • Corky II is a member of the A-Pod - a Northern Resident Orca

  • She is currently held captive at SeaWorld in San Diego, California


Orkid the killer whale jumps out of the water during a show at SeaWorld San Diego, Orca whales in captivity, save the orcas, Haida Orca Sanctuary, We Belong to the Sea

Orkid (Female, 35 years old)


  • Orkid was born in captivity and is the longest living captive-bred Orca whale in the world

  • She is considered to be the most intelligent killer whale in captivity

  • She is known for being good at hunting and catching birds

  • She is 50% Northern Resident, 50% Icelandic

  • Orkid's mother was from the same area as Corky II and was also a member of the A-Pod

  • Her mother died from a jaw injury, bleeding to death after ramming into Corky II in a desperate, stress-induced captivity tragedy. This happened right in front of Orkid.

  • She has lots of experience caring for calves, but has never had any of her own

  • Orkid is currently held captive at SeaWorld in San Diego, California


Keet the male Orca whale performs at SeaWorld in San Diego, Orca whales in captivity, Rescue Orcas from SeaWorld, Haida orca sanctuary, we belong to the sea

Keet (Male, 29 years old)


  • Keet was the first second-generation killer whale to be born in captivity

  • He is 25% Southern Resident, 75% Icelandic

  • He is one of the oldest living captive-born Orca whales

  • He was born at the San Antonio, Texas SeaWorld

  • He has been transferred between SeaWorld parks 7 times

  • Keet is considered a calm, consistent and very gentle Orca

  • He was very independent from an early age, even though he was still nursing when he was separated from his mother

  • His dorsal fin droops, which is a sign of unhealthiness due to extreme confinement and restricted freedom to swim in captivity

  • Keet is currently held captive at SeaWorld in San Diego, California


Keto the male Orca performs for a crowd at Loro Parque in Spain, Loro Parque animal cruelty, save the whales, Haida orca sanctuary, We Belong to the Sea

Keto (Male, 28 years old)


  • Keto was born into captivity at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida

  • He is 25% Southern Resident, 75% Icelandic

  • Keto is a very gentle, soft-mannered Orca that is often paired with new trainers as a 'beginner' whale

  • While gentle, he also exhibits a strong, independent character

  • He has been transferred between all 4 SeaWorld parks in the USA

  • His dorsal fin is drooping, which is a sign of unhealthiness due to extreme confinement and restricted freedom to swim in captivity

  • Keto is currently held captive at Loro Parque in Spain


Tuar the killer whale performs tricks at SeaWorld in San Antonio, SeaWorld animal abuse, save the orcas, save the whales, Haida Orca Sanctuary, We Belong to the Sea

Tuar (Male, 24 years old)


  • Tuar is described as a high energy, playful Orca with a strong self-respecting character

  • He is extremely environmentally sensitve

  • He is highly intelligent and learns very quickly

  • He was born in captivity at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida

  • He is 25% Southern Resident, 75% Icelandic

  • Tuar shows signs of high stress and bored behavior due to captivity. He will wear his own teeth down by grinding them against concrete and will pick at paint at the bottom of his pool

  • Tuar is currently held captive at the SeaWorld in San Antonio, Texas


Kalia the female Orca breaches out of the water in her tank at SeaWorld in San Diego, SeaWorld animal cruelty, save the whales, Haida Orca Sanctuary, We Belong to the Sea, SeaWorld California

Kalia (Female, 19 years old)


  • Kalia is 12.5% Southern Resident, 87.5% Icelandic

  • She was born in captivity at SeaWorld in San Diego, California

  • Due to stresses of captivity, she became ill when very young and had to be treated extensively and in invasive ways. This trauma has made her wary of trainers

  • Kalia lost her baby, Amaya, due to captivity conditions. Amaya was only 7 years old. Orcas are highly emotional beings, making her mourn the death of her child for a long time

  • Kalia is currently held captive at SeaWorld in San Diego, California


Adán the Orca performs tricks in his pool at Loro Parque in Spain, Loro Parque animal abuse, save the whales, Killer whale with drooped dorsal fin, Haida Orca Sanctuary, We Belong to the Sea

Adán (Male, 13 years old)


  • Adán was born in captivity in Loro Parque, Spain

  • He is 12.5% Southern Resident, 87.5% Icelandic

  • He was hand raised by his trainers as he was rejected by his mother shortly after birth.

  • His mother rejected him likely due to stress in unnatural confinement without benefit of family support

  • Nevertheless, he remained close to his mother until she died in 2022

  • Keto is his father

  • His dorsal fin is drooping, a sign of unhealthiness due to extreme confinement in captivity with restricted freedom to swim

  • Adán is currently held captive at Loro Parque, Spain







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