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Credit: Orlando Sentinel

Kayla is a 30 year old female orca who lives at SeaWorld Orlando. Her mother is Kenau and her father is Orky 2. She was the first killer whale to be born at SeaWorld San Antonio.

In 1991, Kayla moved to SeaWorld Ohio with a young female named Katerina. A few years later, Winnie moved in. After several years performing together, they were both moved to SeaWorld San Antonio. She became close with a young male named Keet and soon mated with him and became pregnant with her first calf. On October 9, 2005, she gave birth to her daughter Halyn. Unfortunately, Kayla had never learned how to take care of a calf and rejected Halyn and she had to be raised by the trainers. A few months after her birth, the trainers decided to group her with her father Keet, who she spent most of her time with. Sadly, Halyn died on June 15, 2008.

It was decided to send Kayla to SeaWorld of Orlando in November 2006 to learn how to take care of a calf from the experienced moms living there. At the time she arrived, there were two young calves living with there mothers and another on the way. Since then, another calf was born in 2010. In April 2007, Kayla miscarried a male calf. The father has not been confirmed, though it is thought to be Keet. Her pregnancy was likely the reason for her move. It was hoped that Kayla would become pregnant through artificial insemination after having learning from the other moms how to take care of a calf, though she didn't become pregnant.




Birth Place-SeaWorld San Antonio

Type of Birth-Tail First

Time of Birth-12:10 (CST)




Half Sisters

  • Kiva (1982)*, Corky's Calf (1985)*, Baby Shamu 2 (1986)*, Orkid (1988)

Half Brothers

  • Corky's Calf (1977)*, Spooky (1978)*, Kenau's Unborn Fetus (1991)*

Unknown Siblings

  • Corky's Stillbirth (1980)*, Corky's Miscarriage (1986)*, Corky's Miscarriage (1987)*

Origin of Kayla

  • Hebrew for "Who is like God"
  • English for "Pure"
  • Pronounced: KAY lah


  • 350 lbs (November 1988)
  • 5,300 Ibs (August 2012)
  • 5,600 lbs (2016)
  • 5,840 lbs (July 2017)


  • 7 ft (November 1988)
  • 18.7 ft (July 2017)


  • 50% Icelandic
  • 50% Northern Resident

Kayla is often grouped with Katina, Trua, Nalani, Malia and Makaio. Trua's mom moved to another park in 2009 and it was decided to see how Kayla would do as a surrogate after rejecting her calf. She and Trua got along very well. Katina is the dominant orca at the park and will put Kayla in her place when she acts out. She has also been a great teacher when it comes to taking care of calves and how to run a pod. Kayla was very good at waterworks and did them often. She could often be seen doing waterworks with multiple whales.

Kayla loves her trainers attention and loves to please. She used to do waterworks before they were stopped in 2010 and was never aggressive with trainers though she did bump them a few times when she was younger. This usually occurred when she was cycling or pregnant and became moody. She has been a very gentle whale with her trainers and other orcas though she would be dominant towards the more submissive orcas. She displayed this a few times with Kalina.

Kayla is a very energetic whale and does great with the more advanced behaviors. She is very smart and will often be asked to incorporate multiple things into one behavior, such as doing some sort of jump while vocalizing, thrashing her head, spitting water, waving her pecs or doing multiples of those at once.

Meet Kayla SeaWorld®

Meet Kayla SeaWorld®

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