In a statement, SeaWorld declared the calls for retirement "not only unfounded, but completely out of touch with reality," saying, "Corky is loved by her trainers who have passionately cared for her for more than 45 years. She is happy, healthy and continues to thrive in our care." Thursday is the 45th anniversary of her time in captivity; she was captured on December 11, 1969, according to Sullivan.
Corky's pod was the target of several captures in the '60s and '70s. Separated from the rest of her family except for her mate Orky, who died in 1989, she has spent the past quarter century at SeaWorld San Diego.
Atchison was CEO for five years before stepping down.
CORRECTION: Corky was captured in 1969, not 1968. Orky was Corky's mate, not brother, as previously stated.