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Credit:Marine World Africa

Yaka was a 29 year old female orca who was captured in Canada on December 11, 1969. She passed away on October 29, 1997.

Yaka was captured along with six other whales. Soon after her capture, she and one of her pod mates, Nepo, were moved to Marine World of Africa. Here they met another female name Kianu. The two females did not get along well and both wanted Nepo's attention. Eventually, Kianu was moved to a park in Japan after Kianu and Yaka became too aggressive. The park hoped that Yaka would eventually get pregnant but she never did. The two briefly met a female named Surfer Girl who lived at the park for a few months in 1979.

Sadly, in 1980, Nepo passed away. Yaka was now alone and searched for a new companion. In March 1981, the park introduced a young female to Yaka who was named Vigga. The two became very close and soon were performing in shows together. Yaka also participated in waterworks. In 1985, the park relocated to Vallejo, California. Today Marine World Vallejo is now known as Six Flags Discovery Kingdom.

In Summer 1997, Yaka became ill. Yaka battled a respiratory fungal infection for three months before passing away.




Age at Capture-Approximately 1

Place of Capture-Pender Harbour, BC

Date of Death-10/29/97

Place of Death-Marine World California

Cause of Death-Respiratory Infection


  • A Pod (Northern Resident)

Origin of Yaka

  • African for "Strong Ones"
  • Pronounced: YAH-kah


  • 1,500 lbs (1969)
  • 3,500 lbs (1978)
  • 5,500 lbs (1980)
  • 9,000 lbs (1985)
  • 10,000 lbs (1997)


  • 10.5 ft (1969)
  • 15 ft (1978)
  • 20 ft (1997)


  • 100% Northern Resident


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