SeaWorld's Youngest Killer Whale Dead

SeaWorld's Youngest Killer Whale Dead

Veterinarians say they provided around-the-clock care, treated her with antibiotics and hand fed her multiple times a day to make sure she received adequate nutrition.

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.

However marine mammal scientists have argued that keeping orcas in captivity is both physically and psychologically harmful to the animals, and have questioned SeaWorld's claims that orcas' life expectancy in captivity is comparable to the lifespans of orcas in the wild, the BBC reported in 2016.

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It added: "The team's attention now turns to the rest of the orca pod, especially Takara, to provide the care and attention they need".

SeaWorld, which has not captured a wild orca in more than 40 years, now has 22 orcas left in the United States.

While US media was reporting how Cromwell had been handcuffed and escorted out of SeaWorld in San Diego, the amusement giant was giving details of how its staff had "fought tirelessly" to save Kyara. The release said that could take several weeks. SeaWorld said it is monitoring the health of its other killer whales for any signs of illness.

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Tilikum, which sired 14 calves over almost 25 years in Orlando, died of bacterial pneumonia in January.

Kyara's mother, Takara, was pregnant when the company announced it was ending its captive breeding programme.

In 2010 a trainer was killed by a killer whale in front of an audience and a documentary released in 2013 entitled Blackfish left many criticising the park.

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