When Marineland closed in December1986,Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, which owned Sea World in San Diego, purchased Marineland, ostensibly to continue to operate it. Their intent, however, was to purchase Marineland solely to acquire Corky and Orky, a successful breeding pair of killer whales. Harcourt was in the process of rapidly expanding the Sea World enterprise throughout the nation, and was in desperate need of proven, successful breeding pairs of killer whales in order to supply their new Sea World locations with their headline act, "Shamu, the killer whale".
Orky, the larger male, at Marineland show
Harcourt had been denied a permit to capture additional killer whales in the wild and was therefor limited to acquiring killer whales already in captivity. They therefor purchased the park, and within a few weeks after the purchase, moved Corky and Orky to their Sea World Park in San Diego in the middle of the night without any prior notice to the public, and closed Marineland claiming that the park was going to cost more money to renovate than they originally estimated. They had planned to sell the land to an Arizona developer from the beginning, and quickly did so after closing the park. Unfortunately, Orky, the male, died two years later in 1988, however Corky is still alive (she is now believed to be about 40 years old and the oldest of the seven killer whales in San Diego) and performing daily at Sea World in San Diego. She gave birth to seven calves, however all died soon after birth, with the oldest living only for 46 days.
For more history of Marineland, go to my website at http://www.maureenmegowan.com/PageManager/Default.aspx/PageID=1471638&NF=1
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