Texas Hill Country News

The Last Killer Whale to Be Born in Captivity Was Birthed in San Antonio

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Tony Maples Photography


Last Wednesday at the San Antonio SeaWorld, a killer whale calf was born to an orca named Takara. The baby will be the last killer whale to be born in captivity under SeaWorld’s breeding program since they announced in March 2016 that the program would end. The decision came after the controversy of such a breeding program reached its peak, and the theme park needed to reevaluate their plan.

CNN explains that even though the breeding program technically ended over a year ago, orca’s gestational period can last between 17 to 18 months, so Takara was already pregnant before the program was to end.

At this time, officials aren’t sure of the gender of the calf since its mother has kept it so close by. Julie Sigman, an assistant curator at SeaWorld San Antonio was quoted in a statement saying, “Takara will let us know when she is ready for us to meet the calf and at that time we should be able to determine the gender.”

The SeaWorld website says that Takara is the 25-year-old matriarch of SeaWorld San Antonio. She weighs 4,700 pounds and “has a distinctive brown birthmark on her lower rostrum.” Guests will be able to see Takara’s new baby at certain times.