Newborn killer whale calf dies, SeaWorld San Antonio announces

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"Kyara tremendously affected each of her care staff, also the greater part of the visitors that had the opportunity to see her", Julie, one of the recreation center's orca coaches, said in the announcement. SeaWorld had the opportunity to allow Takara to give birth in a seaside sanctuary but instead chose to make a buck off the birth.

Kyara had been kept under 24-hour watch at the "Animal Hospital", the park said in a press release, and she had been handfed for several days to "to ensure she received the nutrition she needed".

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The last killer whale born in captivity under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program died Monday at the company's San Antonio park, SeaWorld said.

Following news of Kyara's death, a group of protesters joined Academy Award-nominee James Cromwell in a takeover of SeaWorld's "Orca Encounter" show on Monday, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which called for a boycott of SeaWorld. "From late nights to early morning, rain or shine, we dedicate our lives to these animals, and this loss will be felt throughout the entire SeaWorld family". Her mother, Takara was pregnant when the company announced past year that it would end its killer whale breeding program. "In addition to monitoring her 24/7, the expert veterinary staff was treating her with antimicrobials, including antibiotics, for any infections she was fighting".

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SeaWorld has not collected a wild orca in almost 40 years, and most of its orcas were born in captivity.

In January, SeaWorld's most famous captive orca Tilikum died from a bacterial infection at its Orlando park.

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It plans to phase out its reputed live orca performances by 2019, especially after scrutiny was intensified by the 2013 documentary "Blackfish".

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