Kyara, a 3-month-old killer whale born at SeaWorld San Antonio, died at the Texas theme park Monday. The calf, born to 26-year-old Takara in April, was the final orca to be been born in captivity at a SeaWorld park. Orlando-based SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment decided to stop breeding orcas amid animal rights protests and declining visitor counts.
The orca had been treated for an infection at the park’s hospital for three days. The young animal likely had pneumonia, the park said on one of its websites. The park’s veterinary staff had treated Kyara with antimicrobials, including antibiotics, for infections. The team had been hand-feeding her.
A full postmortem exam will determine the cause of death, SeaWorld said. It may take several weeks before results are finalized, it said. Pneumonia is a common cause of death or illness in whales and dolphins in the wild and in aquariums, SeaWorld’s website said.
A statement from Orlando-based SeaWorld Parks on Monday evening read “The global SeaWorld team is united in support of our San Antonio family as they go through this extremely difficult time.”
Killer-whale shows were canceled at SeaWorld San Antonio for Monday.
With the death, SeaWorld’s youngest orca is Amaya, born in December of 2014 at the San Diego park.
Takara, the mother of Kyara, was born at SeaWorld San Diego, but lived at SeaWorld in Orlando between 2004 and 2009, when she was moved to the Texas theme park. Kyara was her fifth calf. The newborn calf was sired by Kyuquot at the San Antonio park by natural means.
Tilikum, who sired 14 calves in about 25 years, died of bacterial pneumonia in Orlando in January.
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