Baby Killer Whale, the Last to Be Born at SeaWorld, Dies

Posted July 26, 2017

The last killer whale born in captivity under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program died Monday at the company's San Antonio park, SeaWorld said.

"While the official cause of death won't be determined until the post-mortem exam is complete, through monitoring Kyara's behavior, and a physical examination, SeaWorld's veterinary and animal care teams identified that she had an infection, likely pneumonia, that they were aggressively treating", the park wrote on their website.

Kyara, seen with mother Takara in April, died at SeaWorld San Antonio on Monday.

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Twitter (TWTR) has exploded with anti-SeaWorld comments, many blaming the company for Kyara's death and calling for SeaWorld to shut down its parks and release its animals to seaside sanctuaries. They would hand feed her several times in a day so that she got enough nutrients and supplements. SeaWorld has not collected a wild orca in almost 40 years, and most of its orcas were born in captivity. 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.

Takara got pregnant with Kyara a year ago when SeaWorld announced that it would end its #killer whale breeding program.

The backlash intensified after the 2013 release of "Blackfish", a documentary critical of SeaWorld's orca care.

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SeaWorld has 22 orcas left in the U.S. The youngest, Amaya, was born in December 2014.

The plan is for their performances to be phased out by 2019, with a program of more "natural orca encounters" for guests, going forward.

PETA is also campaigning for the boycott of SeaWorld's parks Tuesday. Oscar-nominated actor James Cromwell was cited for trespassing at a SeaWorld San Diego protest.

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"Forty orcas have now died on SeaWorld's watch", the animal rights group said in a statement.