Last orca calf born in captivity at a SeaWorld park dies

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ORLANDO, Florida — The last killer whale born in captivity under SeaWorld’s former orca-breeding program has died at the company’s San Antonio park.

The Orlando-based company says three-month-old Kyara died Monday, July 24th. A SeaWorld news release says veterinarians were treating the calf for an infection last weekend, but Kyara’s health continued to decline.

The release says a veterinary team will conduct a postmortem examination to determine the cause of death. That could take weeks.

SeaWorld announced the end of its breeding program in March 2016 following years of pressure and animal rights protests. Kyara was born to 26-year-old Takara last April but was conceived before the program’s end was announced. Orca gestation can last up to 18 months.

SeaWorld has 22 orcas left in the U.S. The youngest, Amaya, was born in December 2014.