MIAMI (AP) – Officials at SeaWorld say the last killer whale has been born in captivity at one of its parks – in San Antonio.
The orca’s birth Wednesday afternoon comes in the wake of a decision by the Florida-based company in 2016 to stop breeding killer whales. SeaWorld didn’t 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 last year when SeaWorld said it stopped the breeding program. The gestation period for orcas is about 18 months. SeaWorld says the mother had a smooth delivery and both appeared healthy.
SeaWorld’s chief zoological officer, Chris Dold, told The Associated Press by phone that the birth was one of those “extraordinary moments.”