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vegassports-odds.com September 25, 2017


Baby orca! Last killer whale born at SeaWorld

21 April 2017, 02:35 | Taylor George

The birth at the SeaWorld in San Antonio, Texas, wasn't streamed live - unlike with April the giraffe - but it will be the final chance for SeaWorld guests to see a baby orca grow up. Backlash over the treatment of the animals and the conditions at the park led the company to scrap its orca breeding program at its 12 parks previous year when they announced that the orcas at the park would be the "last generation".

"Although this is the last killer whale birth at a SeaWorld park, our work to understand and protect this species will continue for decades to come", said Dr. Hendrik Nollens, Vice President of Veterinary Services for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.

The baby is the last killer whale to be born in captivity after SeaWorld announced previous year it was ending its breeding program.

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. So last March, SeaWorld announced it would no longer breed its killer whales.

The birth of Takara's calf is also the last chance for researchers to study orca development in ways that can not be done in the wild, helping to benefit wild whales as well as those in SeaWorld's care.

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"Takara will let us know when she is ready for us to meet the calf and at that time we should be able to determine the gender", Julie Sigman, an assistant curator at SeaWorld San Antonio, said in a statement.

She said: "Throughout her life, Takara the orca has been artificially inseminated many times, separated from her mother and two of her children, and shuffled from theme park to theme park at SeaWorld's whim". It focused on the orca Tilikum, which killed trainer Dawn Brancheau in Orlando in 2010, dragging her into the pool before shocked visitors after a "Dine with Shamu" show. It brings SeaWorld's orca population in the U.S.to 23. After weeks of preparation for the birth of the orca calf, Dold indicated he and his staff celebrated the successful arrival of the massive baby killer whale.

Birth control and "social management" will prevent future orca pregnancies, said spokeswoman Suzanne Pelisson Beasley.

Heather Hill, a St. Mary's University comparative psychologist who plans to monitor the sleeping habits of Takara and the calf over the coming year, said it was frustrating to see research opportunities at SeaWorld undermined by public opinion amid federal cuts to science funding.

Takara, the matriarch of the orca pod, gave birth to the calf at 2:33 p.m. CST. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.



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