SeaWorld Orca Euthanized After Lengthy Illness - NECN
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SeaWorld Orca Euthanized After Lengthy Illness

Kasatka was considered the matriarch of the orca family at the embattled amusement park in San Diego

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    SeaWorld Orca Euthanized After Lengthy Illness
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    In this handout image provided by SeaWorld San Diego, a baby killer whale swims with its mother, Kasatka, a 28-year-old whale December 23, 2004 at SeaWorld in San Diego, California.

    A killer whale was euthanized Tuesday after a long treatment for an infection, SeaWorld San Diego officials said.

    Kasatka, 42, was considered the matriarch of the orca family at the embattled amusement park in San Diego. She had been fighting a lung infection for years, and in the past several days her health and appetite had significantly declined, park officials said.

    SeaWorld San Diego officials say the lung disease is a common cause of death for orcas living in the wild and at zoo facilities.

    “All of us at SeaWorld are deeply saddened by this loss, but thankful for the joy she has brought us and more than 125 million park guests,'' park officials said in a written statement. 

    Last Orca Born in Captivity Dies

    [NATL] Last Orca Born in Captivity Dies

    The last killer whale born in captivity under SeaWorld’s former orca-breeding program died Monday at the company’s San Antonio park. Veterinarians were treating the calf for an infection, possibly pneumonia, but her health continued to decline. The park discontinued its breeding program in March 2016.

    (Published Tuesday, July 25, 2017)

    This is the third orca death at a SeaWorld park in 2017. 

    Tilikum, the killer whale whose story was documented in the movie "Blackfish," died in January at the company's park in Orlando, Florida.

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

    The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an organization that has been critical of SeaWorld’s treatment of orcas, claims the park artificially inseminated Kasatka in 2011 even though she was being treated for an infection.

    “The dead bodies at SeaWorld are stacking up about as fast as its stock is falling,” PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said in a news release.

    PETA plans to hold a memorial for Kasatka outside of the park at noon Wednesday.

    SeaWorld San Diego plans to conduct a necropsy to examine the extent of the illness.