August 20, 2012
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Relocates Shouka, The Killer Whale, to SeaWorld
Popular Marine Mammal Successfully Transported Via Plane This Morning
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom today announced that its beloved killer whale, Shouka, has been relocated to SeaWorld San Diego. The 19-year-old female orca, a long-time and cherished member of the Six Flags Discovery Kingdom family, was safely flown to her new home.
Shouka had recently been living alone after being separated from her companion, a male Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, due to compatibility issues. The park has been actively seeking a suitable companion and determined it would be in Shouka’s best interest to relocate her to SeaWorld San Diego—an ideal new home where she can live with other orcas.
“We have long understood and recognized the need to pair Shouka with a suitable companion as orcas are highly social mammals,” said Michael Muraco, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom animal care director. “While we are pleased about her new environment, it is very difficult for us to say farewell to a beloved animal that has touched millions of people during her life here.”
Since Shouka’s arrival, she has been the most readily recognizable animal at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. Born in France, she came to the park from Six Flags Worlds of Adventures in 2004 as part of the Flying Ark, an aircraft that transported fish and other marine mammals from the Cleveland, Ohio park to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. Shouka quickly gained a dedicated following that continues to this day.
“We are going to miss Shouka,” said Dale Kaetzel, park president. “She has become a favorite of guests young and old since first arriving at our park. She has touched and inspired millions of people through the killer whale show that demonstrated her intelligence and physical prowess, and educated hundreds of thousands of school kids, sparking their interest and curiosity about this magnificent species.”
Trainers and staff who have worked closest with Shouka are obviously saddened by her departure, but understand the need to put her interests first. “She will be infinitely missed by staff members who have dedicated their lives to her care, the community and all of Northern California,” said Kaetzel. “She is truly irreplaceable, both as an individual animal we have come to love and as a park icon.”
The Shouka Stadium venue will be closed for an interim period while the park explores potential future uses for an exciting new attraction.
About Six Flags Entertainment Corporation:
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is the world's largest regional theme park company with over $1.0 billion in revenue and 19 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada. For more than 50 years, Six Flags has entertained millions of families with world-class coasters, themed rides, thrilling water parks and unique attractions including up-close animal encounters, Fright Fest and Holiday in the Park.