By Ken Stone
SeaWorld says its 3-month-old orca calf Kyara died Monday in San Antonio, bringing social media condemnation and condolences.
In a series of afternoon tweets, SeaWorld said: “We are extremely saddened to announce the passing of Kyara, our newest killer whale calf.”
“Dear condolences go out to the entire SeaWorld community of this devastating loss,” said an “aspiring marine biologist” who goes by SeaWorld Tyler.
Kyara has unfortunately passed away. Dear condolences go out to the entire SeaWorld community of this devastating loss. pic.twitter.com/JzyvfFTzCQ
— SeaWorld Tyler 🐳 (@SeaWorldTyler) July 24, 2017
The daughter of San Diego-born Takara, showing signs of pneumonia, was being cared for at the park’s Animal Hospital surrounded by a team of dedicated staff members, SeaWorld said, adding: “Despite the team’s best efforts, Kyara passed earlier today, surrounded by lots of love.”
Former San Diego SeaWorld trainer and critic John Hargrove tweeted: “SeaWorld had to exploit Takara’s calf. ‘Come see the last orca to be born in captivity’ as some circus side show. Now she’s dead. Happy now?”
Hargrove, who wrote a book ripping SeaWorld after appearing in the “Blackfish” documentary that led to the company’s financial distress, said: “SeaWorld forcibly removed Takara’s newborn calf due to illness. This pregnancy happened before the bill became law making breeding illegal.”
In an 840-word statement posted on its SeaWorldCares site, the Orlando-based company said Kyara was being treated for an infection.
“While the official cause of death will not be determined until the post-mortem exam is complete, we know that Kyara had an infection, likely pneumonia, and that her health continued to decline,” SeaWorld said.
SeaWorld said a trainer named Julie said “Kyara had a tremendous impact on each of her care staff, not to mention all of the guests that had the chance to see her. From late nights to early morning, rain or shine, we dedicate our lives to these animals, and this loss will be felt throughout the entire SeaWorld family.”
Posing the question: Will you make the results of the necropsy public, SeaWorld said: “Post mortem exams are detailed clinical investigations that include a good deal of laboratory testing. We will provide an update on SeaWorldCares.com as soon as the full results have come back.”
SeaWorld San Antonio said it would cancel its One Ocean shows featuring orcas for the rest of the day.
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