Last orca calf born in captivity at SeaWorld park dies

The last baby killer whale born at a SeaWorld park died Monday after suffering from an infection.

Three-month-old Kyara, who was born at SeaWorld's San Antonio park in April, was treated over the past three days, but her health continued to decline,  SeaWorld said in a statement.

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 was surrounded by the dedicated teams that cared for her over the last three months and fought tirelessly for her over the last several days," the SeaWorld statement said.

Kyara's mother Takara was already pregnant when SeaWorld announced the end of its orca breeding program in March 2016. Prior to that decision, the company decided to phase out its killer whale performances by 2019.

SeaWorld faced increasing pressure to end the breeding program and shows following the 2013 documentary Blackfish, which questioned the ethics of keeping killer whales in captivity.

SeaWorld, which has not captured a wild orca in more than 40 years, currently has 22 orcas left in the United States. 

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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