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The 11 remaining orcas at SeaWorld San Diego

These are the 11 orcas left in captivity at SeaWorld San Diego.
The 11 remaining orcas at SeaWorld San Diego

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. announced Thursday that orcas will no longer be bred at its parks in San Diego or anywhere else in the country, and theatrical shows involving the marine mammals will be phased out.

SeaWorld also plans to replace its theatrical shows with "natural orca encounters,'' starting in San Diego next year, then in San Antonio and Orlando in 2019. The orcas will continue to receive the highest-quality care, SeaWorld executives said.

These are the 11 orcas left in captivity at SeaWorld San Diego.


Amaya is the youngest member of the SeaWorld San Diego pod.

Born: December of 2014
·    Female
·    Weighs 1,000 pounds
·    Measures 10 feet long
·    Distinguishing Physical Characteristics: easily identified as the smallest killer whale at SeaWorld San Diego


Estimated to be 38 years old
·    Female
·    Weighs 4,850 pounds
·    Measures 17 feet long
·    Distinguishing Physical Characteristics: Pointy rostrum, short and stocky compared to the other whales


·    Estimated to be 52 years old
·    Female
·    Weighs 8,335 pounds
·    Measures 19 feet long
·    Distinguishing Physical Characteristics: largest female killer whale in San Diego pod


·    Estimated to be 38 years old
·    Male
·    Weighs 9,590 pounds
·    Measures 20 feet long
·    Distinguishing Physical Characteristics: easily recognizable as SeaWorld San Diego's largest killer whale


· Born: September of 1988
· Female
· Weighs 6,000 pounds
· Measures 19 feet long
· Distinguishing Physical Characteristics: her big, round eyes make her easy to recognize


·    Born: September of 2001
·    Male
·    Weighs 5,700 pounds
·    Measures 18 feet long
·    Distinguishing Physical Characteristics: large pectoral flippers


·    Born: December of 2004
·    Female
·    Weighs 4,500 pounds
·    Measures 15 feet long
·    Distinguishing Physical Characteristics: three black spots in her white patch


·    Born: August of 2002
·    Male
·    Weighs 5,900 pounds
·    Measures 19 feet long
·    Distinguishing Physical Characteristics: largest blowhole and the biggest tongue of any of the whales in our pod


·    Born: February of 1993
·    Female
·    Weighs 5,000 pounds
·    Measures 17 feet long


· Born: February of 1993
· Female
· Weighs 5,000 pounds
· Measures 17 feet long


·    Born: February of 2013
·    Male
·    Weighs 2,235 pounds
·    Measures nearly 12 feet long
·    Distinguishing Physical Characteristics: Trainers say he is shaped perfectly like a little football; second smallest of the San Diego pod

According to SeaWorld, it has not only discontinued breeding orcas through artificial insemination; it also feeds the whales birth control medication.

Orcas have been a centerpiece of the SeaWorld parks since shows at the Shamu stadium in San Diego became the main draw in the 1970s. But criticism has steadily increased in the decades since and then became sharper after an orca named Tilikum battered and drowned trainer Dawn Brancheau after a "Dine with Shamu" show in Orlando in 2010.

RELATED: SeaWorld says it will end killer whale breeding program

Her death was highlighted in "Blackfish," and it wasn't the first for Tilikum. The whale also killed an animal trainer and a trespasser in the 1990s.

"Blackfish" director Gabriela Cowperthwaite said she applauds SeaWorld's decision, "but mostly I applaud the public for recalibrating how they feel ethically about orcas in captivity."

SeaWorld said it will increase its focus on rescue operations.


This story contains pictures and animal facts from the SeaWorld Cares Website