30-year-old orca dies at SeaWorld's Orlando park
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A 30-year-old orca died Monday at SeaWorld's Orlando park after a brief illness, company officials said.
A cause of death won't be known until a post-mortem examination is conducted, according to SeaWorld.
Kayla began showing signs of discomfort on Saturday, and veterinarians began treating her based on what they found from a physical exam. Her condition worsened on Sunday and she was given around-the-clock care until her death, park officials said.
Kayla was among the last orcas at SeaWorld's Orlando park, as well as parks in California and Texas.
SeaWorld announced the end of its breeding program in March 2016, following years of pressure from animal rights protests and shifting public opinion about orcas being held in captivity. The protests intensified after the release of the 2013 documentary "Blackfish," which focused on the life of Tilikum, a killer whale responsible for killing trainer Dawn Brancheau when he dragged her into a pool in front of shocked visitors in 2010.
The movie implied that killer whales become more aggressive in captivity.
SeaWorld has 20 orcas left at its parks. There are five in Orlando, five in San Antonio, and 10 in San Diego.
The animal rights group PETA said its members in Florida planned to hold two protests this week outside SeaWorld's Orlando park to memorialize Kayla.
"While we recognize that it's too late to help her, it's not too late to call attention to SeaWorld's other orca prisoners, who must be released into seaside sanctuaries as soon as possible," PETA said in a statement.
Stories that may interest you
Iraq's defense minister has expressed concerns that the Islamic State group would take advantage of Turkey's invasion of northern Syria to destabilize Iraq
Barack Obama is urging Canadians to re-elect Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, an apparently unprecedented endorsement of a candidate in a Canadian election by a former American president
The Louvre wants this $450 million Leonardo in its big show, but its mystery owner appears to be balking
The world's most expensive painting, the "Salvator Mundi," purportedly by Leonardo da Vinci, was supposed to go on display next week in the world's most famous museum, the Louvre, in a blockbuster exhibition marking the 500th anniversary of Leonardo's death. Barring a last-minute surprise, however,...
Chicago parents and community groups are scrambling to prepare for a massive teachers' strike set to begin Thursday, prompting the city to preemptively cancel classes in the nation's third-largest school district