The last killer whale to be bred in captivity at SeaWorld has been born.
The calf was born on April 19 to 25-year-old whale, Takara at the park’s resort in San Antonio.
It will be the last killer whale born in captivity at the park after the company announced in March last year it would end its breeding programme.
Takara was already pregnant when the announcement was made.
Chris Bellows, vice president of zoological operations, said: “This is an exciting and emotional day for us at SeaWorld and we are all so proud to share this new killer whale calf with the world, after a year and a half of planning, and observing and providing all the special care.”
Takara was born at SeaWorld San Diego and has had four other calves, which are now aged from 3 to 15 years.
A team of veterinarians and animal care specialists will monitor the pair closely, as well as a research team from St Mary’s University San Antonio to study orca development in the early stages.
Dr Hendrik Nollens, vice president of veterinary services for SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, said: “Although this is the last killer whale birth at a SeaWorld park, our work to understand and protect this species will continue for decades to come.”
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