Posted Monday, September 26th, 2022 by Barry

Prince Namor, The Sub-Mariner (1968) 23

A mascot for an entertainment franchise takes center stage as we celebrate Shamu the Whale Day.

September 26 has been set aside to honor and commemorate the original and subsequent Orcas since.

Shamu became a staple of SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment in the 1960s. The first park was built in 1964 and became known as SeaWorld San Diego followed by a site in Aurora, Ohio, then called SeaWorld Ohio. The advent of Disney World in Florida brought about SeaWorld Orlando in 1973 and SeaWorld San Antonio (Texas) in 1976.

Over time, SeaWorld’s killer whales, or Orcas, became its main attraction. Shamu was the name of the first Orca at the original San Diego site. It has since been adopted for each park and each successor over the years.

Prince Namor, The Sub-Mariner (1968) 23

September 26 was chosen to celebrate all the Shamus though it is based on the day in 1985 and the first surviving baby Shamu.

At least originally.

Shamu the Whale Day is currently more suited for allowing killer whales to live in their native biosphere rather than a created one. Understanding the world around us has become more common rather than adopting and adapting it to suit our needs.

For instance, the original Shamu was captured in 1965. It died in 1971 following an accident during a performance. Today, 37 years ago, marks the first Shamu who survived birth in captivity.

Even SeaWorld announced in 2016 it would no longer breed Orcas in captivity.

To better understand the 50,000 Orcas alive today, people are encouraged to inform themselves and others. This can be done through printed matter, documentaries or lectures.

When done, we recommend turning to Sub-Mariner (1968) issue 23.

Our killer whale was an Atlantean solider in the army of Warlord Krang in his attempts to wrest control of the Atlantean throne from Namor. After the failed attempt, Orka goes into hiding with his master. A psionic amplified belt turns Orka into his namesake and he aids Krang in another attempt at usurping the throne. This ends in failure as well.

Over the years, Orka went from villain to a hero of sorts. After the events of Civil War, he teamed with then current incarnation of Heroes for Hire. He was killed during the series, but resurrected during the Dark Reign storyline and, later, became a member of Namor’s Defenders of the Deep.

No matter how you choose to celebrate the day, remember we are not alone on Earth.

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