Published: Wed, July 26, 2017
Sci-tech | By Doreen King

Baby killer whale born at SeaWorld dies

Baby killer whale born at SeaWorld dies

SeaWorld announced the end of its killer whale breeding program past year.

The three-month-old killer whale calf, Kyara, had been receiving treatment for an infection thought to be pneumonia, but she succumbed to the illness on Monday, SeaWorld announced on its website.

The Orlando-based company said Kyara likely had pneumonia, but officials can't confirm her cause of death until after a post-mortem is completed. She had been separated from her mother in order to receive veterinary care.

Kyara was to be the last orca born in captivity at a SeaWorld park. Kyara's mother, Takara, was pregnant at the time of the announcement.

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SeaWorld welcomed Kyara into the world in April, heralding the calf's birth to 25-year-old Takara as "an exciting and emotional day for us".

SeaWorld had come under fire for how killer whales have been treated at its three parks.

Kyara was the last orca whale to be born at a SeaWorld park.

SeaWorld has announced plans to introduce new "natural orca encounters" in place of theatrical shows.

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In 2010 a trainer was killed by a killer whale in front of an audience and a documentary released in 2013 entitled Blackfish left many criticising the park.

PETA released a statement Monday night in wake of Kyara's death, accusing SeaWorld executives of having "dollar signs where their eyes should be".

The incident has caused animal rights activists to speak out against SeaWorld.

But orcas in SeaWorld live much shorter lives than their counterparts in the wild: female orcas at SeaWorld typically live 12 years, while those in the wild live to 50.

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