Last captive orca born at SeaWorld dies

The last captive orca born under SeaWorld’s care has died after contracting what was thought to be pneumonia at its park in San Antonio, Texas.

The three-month-old calf, named Kyara, had been battling an infection the week prior to her death and had been kept under a 24-hour watch by her keepers, also being hand fed for several days to ensure she received necessary nutrition.

"Kyara had a tremendous impact on the entire zoological team, not to mention all of the guests that had the chance to see her," said whale trainer Julie Sigman.

"The heart and support that has gone into caring for her throughout mother Takara's pregnancy until today has been amazing.

"As animal caregivers we dedicate our lives to these animals, and this loss will be felt throughout the entire SeaWorld family."

The last generation of orcas under SeaWorld’s care, the company now has a total of 22 killer whales across its parks in San Diego, San Antonio and Orlando.

“We know that Kyara had an infection, likely pneumonia, and pneumonia has been identified as the most common cause of mortality and illness in whales in dolphins, both in the wild and in zoological facilities.” said the statement. “We are conducting a full examination to completely understand what ultimately caused her death.”

Currently in a phase of transition under CEO Joel Manby as it tries to transform its image, SeaWorld struggled in 2016, with revenues and attendance both down on the previous year’s figures.

Among other troubles, including a “softness” in the Latin America market, the operator had to endure the death of infamous orca Tilikum, who died in January this year and was featured in the 2013 anti SeaWorld documentary Blackfish – the root of the company’s ongoing struggles.

The company’s second quarter earnings will be released on 8 August.

SeaWorld  visitor attractions  orcas  killer whales  Kyara  aquariums  zoos 
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The last captive orca born under SeaWorld’s care has died after contracting what was thought to be pneumonia at its park in San Antonio, Texas. The three-month-old calf, named Kyara, had been battling an infection the week prior to her death and had been kept under a 24-hour watch by her keepers, also being hand fed for several days to ensure she received necessary nutrition. "Kyara had a tremendous impact
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The three-month-old calf, named Kyara, died from what was thought to be pneumonia
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