Killer whale Takara gives birth at SeaWorld San Antonio
PUBLISHED Wed, April 19, 2017 - 10:16pm EDT
A killer whale has been born in captivity at a SeaWorld park in Texas, more than a year after the company announced that it would end its orca breeding program. The orca was already pregnant when the decision was made. (more)
Takara, who was born at SeaWorld San Diego in 1991 and was later moved to SeaWorld San Antonio, gave birth to the calf at 2:33 p.m. CT on Wednesday. A group of veterinarians and trainers witnessed the birth.
A name for the calf was not immediately disclosed and its gender has not yet been determined. "Takara will let us know when she is ready for us to meet the calf and begin developing a trusting relationship, just like we have with Takara," trainer Julie said.
Both mother and calf are believed to be healthy, according to a statement released by the company. SeaWorld said guests will have the opportunity to visit and observe Takara and her calf during select times.
The captivity of killer whales has become increasingly controversial, particularly since the release of the 2013 documentary "Blackfish." Takara was already pregnant when SeaWorld announced in March 2016 that it would stop breeding killer whales. It also announced that will phase out its theatrical orca shows.
"Although this will be the last opportunity for guests of SeaWorld to see a baby killer whale up close as it grows and matures, SeaWorld will continue to have orcas at its parks for decades to come," the company said in Wednesday's statement.
Tilikum, the orca which made headlines when it killed its trainer during a show at SeaWorld Orlando and subsequently was the subject of the 2013 documentary "Blackfish", has died after a lengthy illness, the park says. (more) Read More
SeaWorld announced on Thursday that it will stop breeding captive killer whales and phase out its theatrical orca shows at all of its theme parks. Animal rights activists had been campaigning for such a move for years. (more) Read More
Tilikum, the orca which made headlines in 2010 when it killed its trainer during a show at SeaWorld Orlando and which was the subject of the 2013 documentary "Blackfish," is severely ill, officials say. (more) Read More