The last killer whale born in captivity died at SeaWorld San Antonio. It was the third newborn to die at the company’s theme parks this year.
A SeaWorld release said Kyara died July 24 after being treated with antibiotics for an infection. The 3-month-old was born April 19 after an 18-month pregnancy to Takara, a 25-year-old female orca.
Takara was pregnant when SeaWorld announced last year it was ending its orca breeding program.
A Commerson’s dolphin calf died shortly after birth May 20 at SeaWorld’s Aquatica. A newborn beluga died July 7 at SeaWorld Orlando. Both died the day they were born.
SeaWorld announced Saturday that Kyara was showing possible signs of pneumonia, “one of the most common causes of illness or morbidity in whales and dolphins, both in the wild and in aquariums,” according to the SeaWorld release.
“The dedicated team of veterinarians and care staff spent the last three days providing critical care for Kyara, but despite their best efforts, her health continued to decline and she passed away…,” the SeaWorld Cares blog noted.
The official cause of death will be determined by post-mortem exam.
Kyara had been removed from her mother and was being hand fed at the park’s animal hospital to ensure she received the necessary hydration and treatment. Several One Ocean shows at SeaWorld San Antonio were cancelled on the day the calf died.
A walrus calf born June 3 at SeaWorld Orlando is also being hand fed after vets noticed she was not gaining weight. She has gained more than 30 pounds in the past six weeks.
“While the loss of Kyara is heartbreaking for the animal care, veterinary and training teams, as well as the entire SeaWorld family, our focus is now on continuing the care of the rest of the orca pod back at Shamu Stadium,” the release said.
SeaWorld officials said no other orcas in the SeaWorld San Antonio pod are showing any signs of illness and they will continue to be monitored by the park’s veterinary and animal care teams.