© 2022 KUNR
An illustrated mountainscape with trees and a broadcast tower.
Serving Northern Nevada and the Eastern Sierra
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Sneaking Into Marineland To Ride Killer Whales



In his memoir Mulligan’s Wake, author Dave Mulligan recounts some of his outlandish adventures as a young adult following the death of his father. Many of the stories are littered with humor and absurd situations, but at the heart of his writing is an honest look at one man's attempt to grieve for his deceased father in an unconventional way.

Perhaps the most unbelievable story took place decades ago when Mulligan paid a late night visit to Marineland in PalosVerdes, California, which has since closed.

“I said, ‘Let’s go sneak in [to Marineland] like we did when we were kids and we’ll go into the tank and we’ll pet the killer whales.’”

After riding the whales, which were named Corky and Orky, Mulligan and his friend were arrested. This event sparked a slew of other travels and escapades in the wake of his father's death.

“You know, I may have done it anyway, but it certainly was consistent with some of the other things [at the time]. I know I was grieving, and I still am.”

Mulligan’s Wake is his first novel. He now lives in Reno as a writer and a video producer.

Mulligan spoke with Niche Podcast’s Joey Lovato and Jacob Solis, who are both seniors at the Reynolds School of Journalism. Niche is a local podcast produced and edited by our own Joey Lovato.


Before joining The Nevada Independent, Jacob interned for Nevada Public Radio, where he covered the 2017 legislative session, and Reno Public Radio, where he was on general assignment covering everything from immigration to traffic to the Northern Nevada housing crunch. During that time, he also worked for UNR's student paper, The Nevada Sagebrush, serving as editor-in-chief from 2016 to 2018.
Before taking over the production of multimedia content at The Nevada Independent in 2018, Joey was their first intern, serving during the 2017 legislative session. He helped launch The Indy's two podcasts, IndyMatters and Cafecito Con Luz.