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10 of the world's most famous whales

By: Shea Gunther on June 20, 2011, 1 p.m.
Tilikum, Sea World

Photo: Benny Marty/

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Shamu was one of the first few orcas ever captured alive, becoming a popular attraction at SeaWorld San Diego in the mid- to late '60s. Originally captured to be a companion for an orca already living in a Seattle aquarium, Shamu moved to San Diego after she ended up not getting along with her intended co-worker.

The original Shamu died in 1971, but her name was trademarked to preserve her well-known brand. The name "Shamu" has since been used by numerous other orcas that star in SeaWorld's acrobatic shows, including Tilikum (pictured), the notorious orca that killed trainer Dawn Brancheau at SeaWorld Orlando in February 2010.