MIAMI (AP) – The last killer whale has been born in captivity at a SeaWorld park. The birth at the San Antonio, Texas, theme park comes a year after SeaWorld’s decision to stop breeding orcas.
The company based in Orlando, Florida, said the calf was born Wednesday afternoon. It’s the last in a generation of whales bred in confinement.
The mother, 25-year-old Takara, was already pregnant when SeaWorld announced in March 2016 it had stopped breeding its orcas, following years of animal rights protests and declining ticket sales. Gestation for orcas lasts about 18 months.
Veterinarians haven’t yet determined whether the calf’s male or female. SeaWorld’s chief zoological officer, Chris Dold, told The Associaetd Press that calf and mother were swimming calmly after a smooth labor.
SeaWorld says both appear healthy.