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SeaWorld Announces Baby Orca's Name and Her Illness

SeaWorld Announces Baby Orca's Name and Her Illness

Image from a press release issued today by SeaWorld. Kyara, their newest calf is sick. Copyright: SeaWorld.com

Image from a press release issued today by SeaWorld. Kyara, their newest calf is sick. Copyright: SeaWorld.com

Can things possibly get any worse for SeaWorld? It appears so. Still conducting damage control over leaked photographs of sick orca Kasatka, SeaWorld announced today that their youngest orca, 3-month-old Kyara, is possibly sick with pneumonia.

Takara’s 3-month-old calf, Kyara, is showing possible signs of pneumonia, one of the most common causes of illness or morbidity in whales and dolphins*. The first several months for whale and dolphin calves are especially critical, and we are taking every precaution, including treating her at the animal hospital at SeaWorld San Antonio.
— SeaWorld.com

The last few years have not been kind to SeaWorld-held marine mammals. In just 3 years, SeaWorld parks have lost 25 animals. The deaths, easily verified by Ceta Base.org's, 'Event Timeline', lists the following animals as deceased:

2014 - 8 deaths

  • Commerson's dolphins Keebler and Fabio at Aquatica Orlando.
  • Five bottlenose dolphins: Kai at SW Texas; Bodine at SW California; Bailey, Bossa and Bossa's calf (stillborn) at SW Orlando. 
  • Beluga whale Ruby at SW California.

2015 - 5 deaths

  • Two bottlenose dolphins: Jenson, Lagos, plus a miscarriage of twins (not counted) at SW Orlando. 
  • Two beluga whales: Stella at SW Texas and Nanuq at SW Orlando.
  • Orca Unna at SW Texas.

2016 - 7 deaths

  • Three bottlenose dolphins: Montenegro and Purina at SW California; Star at Discovery Cove, Fl.
  • One spotted Atlantic dolphin -- SWF-SF-1601, at SW Orlando.
  • One Commerson's dolphin -- Betsy, at Aquatica Orlando.
  • One Pacific white-sided dolphin -- Dart, at SW Texas
  • One short-finned pilot whale -- Bubbles, at SW California.

2017 - 5 deaths

  • Orca Tilikum at SW Orlando.
  • Two bottlenose dolphins: Lily at Discovery Cove, Fl; SWF-TT-1604B at SW Orlando.
  • One Commerson's dolphin -- Ringer's calf at Aquatica Orlando
  • One beluga whale -- Whisper's calf at SeaWorld, Orlando.

For Kyara, whose name was released on the same day her illness was announced, a mother-calf separation and an inability to nurse naturally does not bode well. Also of note is the study SeaWorld cites in support of Kyara's illness which refers to a bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus population and not an orca population. 

Just brace yourselves. 2017 is far from over. I wish Takara and Kyara well.

UPDATE: Make that 26 marine mammals. SeaWorld announced today (7/24/17) that Kyara has died. What company announces an illness and a name on the same day and 48 hours later, a death? 

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