SeaWorld's vice-president of veterinary services, Dr Hendrik Nollens said it would be the last chance for researchers to study orca development in ways that can not be done in the wild. The second the calf is born, Takara is 100% focused on its care and well-being.
SeaWorld has announced the birth of the last killer whale to be bred in captivity at one of its parks.
The company's newest theme park will be built in Dubai and will not include orca whales. The backlash intensified after the 2013 release of "Blackfish", a documentary critical of SeaWorld's orca care. "It is incredible", said Julie Sigman, an Assistant Curator at SeaWorld San Antonio. Takara's calf, the last to be born at a SeaWorld park, was greeted by veterinarians and trainers.
SeaWorld's vice president of veterinary services, Dr. Hendrik Nollens, it will be the last chance for researchers to study orca development in ways that can not be done in the wild. Its gender "will be confirmed at a later date", the park said. Both orcas were swimming calmly, and trainers were watching for the calf to begin nursing. They said she became impregnated through "natural breeding". According to Sigman, "We take our lead from mom".
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Animal rights group People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said SeaWorld should move Takara and her calf from their tank to an "ocean sanctuary", an area of sea enclosed by nets.
Last year, SeaWorld announced it would phase out killer whale shows.
"Takara and her calf are an important part of not only educating the visitors who see them at the parks, but also ongoing research that helps marine biologists understand how to better care for and protect orcas in the wild". Two are with her in San Diego, one is in Orlando and another is on loan to a theme park in Spain.
Share with Us - We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article, and smart, constructive criticism. But hours after Wednesday's birth, Dold said the staff felt only celebratory.