- 2.000: Unrelated orcas having no apparent common history
- 2.111: The orcas SeaWorld purchased from SeaLand, including Tilikum and his descendants
- 5.455: The petting pool orcas and descendants
- 4.000: Orcas who were tank mates of the petting pool orcas during the petting pool years and their descendants. The issue of tank mates has considerations still being dealt with. It should be noted that there is some overlap in the petting pool descendants, Tilikum's descendants, and the tank mates' descendants.
It is objectively clear that there is a correlation between "petting pool" history and significant, later orca aggression. An entirely new scientific investigation into the why can now begin.
As more of those early human-orca friends come forward and tell their stories, a more complete picture of orca mentality can be assembled from what was a onetime, freeform experiment in human-orca interaction, one that would be impossible to repeat today.
This essay was written with the help of Robert Anderson, Howard Garrett, Russell Hockins (please also see "Unlimited Trust)", Robyn Waayers, and Lisa Larrabee whose poem "The Orca Among Us" can be seen here. You can read Russell Hockins' comment on an earlier essay I wrote here.