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New killer whale arrives at SeaWorld in San Diego

After a flight aboard a cargo plane from Northern California, a well-traveled killer whale named Shouka arrived Monday at SeaWorld San Diego, bringing to nine the number of orcas at the park.

Shouka, who is 19 years old, was born at an aquatic park in France, spent some years at a park in Ohio, and since 2004 was at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo.

At Vallejo, Shouka's closest companion was a dolphin. That relationship, for unknown reasons, soured and park officials decided it was best to find Shouka a new living arrangement, SeaWorld officials said.

Shouka came to San Diego on a cargo flight from Oakland and then was trucked to the park and gently lowered into a pool big enough for the 5,000-pound mammal. 

Plans are to incorporate Shouka into the daily shows when she feels comfortable with her new surroundings, officials said. She may also be available for breeding.

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--Tony Perry in San Diego

 
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