Kyara, the orca born in April to her mom Takara, was being treated by veterinarians for an infection but her health declined over the weekend, SeaWorld said in a statement on Monday. While a post-mortem exam will determine the whale’s official cause of death, SeaWorld officials said she likely died of pneumonia.
“Kyara had faced some very serious and progressive health issues over the last week that the animal care and veterinary teams had been aggressively treating,” SeaWorld said in a statement.
SeaWorld announced last year that it would stop breeding killer whales and end its killer whale shows following years of controversy over the way the company treats the animals. Kyara, the last whale to be born under the breeding program, was conceived before SeaWorld said it would stop the program.