It’s an orca! Last killer whale is born at a SeaWorld park

The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) - - OPINION -

The last orca has been born in cap­tiv­ity at a SeaWorld park in San An­to­nio just over a year af­ter the theme park de­cided to stop breed­ing or­cas fol­low­ing an­i­mal rights protests and de­clin­ing ticket sales.

The Or­lando-based com­pany said the orca — the last in a gen­er­a­tion of whales bred in con­fine­ment — was born Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon. SeaWorld did not im­me­di­ately name the calf be­cause the park’s vet­eri­nar­i­ans had not yet de­ter­mined whether it was male or fe­male.

The mother, 25-year-old Takara, was al­ready preg­nant when SeaWorld an­nounced in March 2016 that it had stopped breed­ing its or­cas. The ges­ta­tion pe­riod for or­cas is about 18 months.

Ear­lier, SeaWorld’s chief zoo­log­i­cal of­fi­cer, Chris Dold, told The Associated Press he ex­pected the birth to be bit­ter­sweet, the last such event at any of the parks. But hours af­ter the birth Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, Dold said, SeaWorld staff only felt like cel­e­brat­ing.

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