Jueves, 21 Marcha, 2019

Last orca born in captivity arrives at SeaWorld San Antonio

In this image provided by Sea World Parks & Entertainment orca Takara helps guide her newborn to the water's surface at Sea World San Antonio Wednesday SeaWorld's Last Baby Killer Whale Born at Texas Park
Eleena Tovar | 22 Abril, 2017, 10:08

Last year, SeaWorld said it would stop breeding killer whales and halt its orca shows by 2019 following protests by animal-rights groups, The Associated Press reported.

The company's newest theme park will be built in Dubai and will not include orca whales.

The company said a year ago that it was not able to release its killer whales into the wild, as those born and raised in captivity "will likely die" if set free.

Visitors soon will be able to see the calf with its mother "during select times", the park said. SeaWorld said mother and calf both appear healthy. Dold said the veterinary team expects everything will go along smoothly with Takara and the baby whale but is not taking anything for granted.

"These are extraordinary moments". "It's a tempered celebration only because we're focused on the health of these guys". Mom Takara helps guide the newborn to the water's surface as the calf takes one of its first breathes.

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc popularised killer whale shows in the 1960s but faced growing opposition in recent years. Spectators witnessed the entire horrific ordeal. The sex of the calf is now being determined.

Since then, Tilikum has died from bacterial pneumonia, and SeaWorld continued to struggle to regain their former reputation.

SeaWorld now has 23 orcas among its three centers in San Diego, Calif., Orlando, Fla. and San Antonio, spokesman David Koontz told NPR via email. However, they might have stumbled backwards when they unveiled plans to resurrect their orca entertainment program as "natural orca encounters".

The birth of the calf marks SeaWorld's last opportunity to monitor and study a baby orca up-close. It brings SeaWorld's orca population in the U.S.to 23. SeaWorld has not collected a wild orca in almost 40 years, and most of its orcas were born in captivity.

Last year, saying "society is changing", it announced that it was ending the orca breeding program. This is Takara's fifth birth, and officials say she will determine when park curators can "meet" the calf and determine its gender.

That has prompted to a new emphasis on conservation for SeaWorld.