Last killer whale calf born at SeaWorld dies

SeaWorld says it may take several weeks before the results of a post-mortem are finalised. Source @SeaWorld  Twitter

SeaWorld says it may take several weeks before the results of a post-mortem are finalised. Source @SeaWorld Twitter

Kyara, a 3-month-old calf at SeaWorld San Antonio, died sometime Monday surrounded by staff at the park. Kyara and Takara are pictured here.

The killer whale calf, which was born to Tamara, was three months old and was kept away from the mother in the husbandry pool of the #Animal Hospital so that she could be taken care of by the veterinary team.

"Kyara tremendously affected each of her care staff, also the greater part of the visitors that had the opportunity to see her", Julie, one of the recreation center's orca coaches, said in the announcement. She had been under 24-hour watch and had been hand fed to supplement her nutrition, according to SeaWorld. Kyara's death didn't have to do with her being in captivity, it added.

Kyara was the last orca born in captivity at the park after the company announced it would end its breeding program previous year. Officials said the mother has returned back to normal after her daughter's death. SeaWorld said it is monitoring the health of its other killer whales for any signs of illness.

She was conceived just before the company announced the end of its orca breeding program in March of past year: Gestation can last up to 18 months.

The film focused on Tilikum, an orca at SeaWorld Orlando who killed a trainer during a 2010 performance.

Tilikum, which sired 14 calves over almost 25 years in Orlando, died of bacterial pneumonia in January.

The incident has caused animal rights activists to speak out against SeaWorld.

SeaWorld also has chose to phase out its world-famous killer whale performances by 2019, after public opinion turned against keeping orcas, dolphins and other animals in captivity for entertainment.

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