The company said three month old Kyara likely died of an infection, possibly pneumonia, but an official cause of death will not be announced until after the baby whale is examined post-mortem.
Kyara was to be the last orca born in captivity at a SeaWorld park. The company made the announcement last year that its current collection of orcas will be the final generation at SeaWorld. The decision followed negative public blowback after a 2013 documentary shed a dim light on what captivity for the ocean's top predator is really like.
Twitter (TWTR) - Get Report has exploded with anti-SeaWorld comments, many blaming the company for Kyara's death and calling for SeaWorld to shut down its parks and release its animals to seaside sanctuaries.
Earlier this year another SeaWorld orca, Tilikum, died of a bacterial infection. Tilikum was a wild caught whale responsible for three of the four human deaths by captive orcas.
On Monday, Oscar-nominated actor James Cromwell was arrested at SeaWorld in San Diego during a PETA protest of SeaWorld, Variety reports. Cromwell and other activists are said to have high jacked SeaWorld's "Orca Encounter" show using megaphones to inform the audience about SeaWorld's history of premature orca deaths.
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