A female beluga whale died Thursday at SeaWorld San Diego, park officials said and she had far outpaced the regular life span of such whales.
Ruby lived at SeaWorld for 17 years as part of the Wild Arctic attraction. She was 38.
She came to SeaWorld San Diego from another organization in 1997 and, in 2010, gave birth to another female.
“As an ambassador for all Arctic animals, she has delighted more than 40 million visitors to our Wild Arctic attraction since 1997. She was a wonderful whale and dearly loved by her trainers and our vets. Ruby will be greatly missed by all of us at SeaWorld.”
According to park officials, a necropsy will be performed to help determine the cause of death, but it will be several weeks before the results are received.
The average lifespan of a beluga whale has been estimated to be 32.8 years, according to SeaWorld.
Wild Arctic now has five beluga whales on exhibit.
– City News Service
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: