Last orca calf born in captivity at a SeaWorld park dies

Last orca calf born in captivity at a SeaWorld park dies

SeaWorld announced the passing of Kyara the killer whale calf on Monday. SeaWorld had the opportunity to allow Takara to give birth in a seaside sanctuary but instead chose to make a buck off the birth.

Kyara was the last killer whale to be conceived in bondage at SeaWorld's parks after the organization reported it would end its reproducing program a year ago.

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The female baby orca whale, a species also known as a killer whale, died after facing progressive health issues last week. "As animal caregivers we dedicate our lives to these animals, and this loss will be felt throughout the entire SeaWorld family".

A news release from SeaWorld indicated Kyara's cause of death wasn't immediately determined, but she was suffering from an infection that was likely pneumonia.

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"The team's attention now turns to the rest of the orca pod, especially Takara, to provide the care and attention they need", SeaWorld said.

The release says a veterinary team will conduct a postmortem examination to determine the cause of death.

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SeaWorld also has chose to phase out its world-famous killer whale performances by 2019, after public opinion turned against keeping orcas, dolphins and other animals in captivity for entertainment. That could take weeks. The company announced in 2016 that it was shutting down the breeding program and that the current generation of orcas would be the last to live at the park. None of the other whales at the park are exhibiting symptoms of illness, SeaWorld's statement said. In January 2017, a 36-year-old whale Tilikum died in captivity at the park.

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