Youngest SeaWorld Orca Calf Dies at Only 3 Months Old
The very last calf to be born at SeaWorld died on Monday, July 24th at the company’s San Antonio facility.
According to SeaWorld’s statement, the calf, named Kyara, was separated from her mother, Takara, reportedly so that SeaWorld’s employees could “fight” to save her life. This probably means that Kyara died not alongside her mother or others of her kind, but surrounded instead by SeaWorld staff aggressively trying to keep their asset alive, motivated only by the loss of profits her dead body represents. This tends to show that SeaWorld does not believe that orcas may feel grief or separation anxiety or a desire to be with loved ones at the moment of passing. Either that, or they simply don’t care. After all, they forcibly impregnated – raped – her mother in order to bring her into this world. They were heavily invested in her life, but in the most insidious of ways.
Appallingly, SeaWorld says that Takara is not grieving at all—her behavior is already “back to normal”. Apparently, the only heartbreak was felt by humans: “the animal care, veterinary and training teams, as well as the entire SeaWorld family.” This blatant disregard for Takara’s feelings shows a profound ignorance of the science that tells us orcas are extremely cognitively and emotionally complex.
Three-month-old Kyara reportedly died of pneumonia, something that SeaWorld is quick to point out as being a common cause of death among orcas wild and captive. But given the San Antonio facility’s track record alone –8 cetacean deaths in 5 years – it is little wonder that poor Kyara died. Will this death be enough to convince SeaWorld that captivity kills? Or, will SeaWorld go back on their March 2016 promise and begin breeding orcas again? Only time will tell.
Ex-SeaWorld trainer John Hargrove said it best in a Tweet after news of the calf’s death, “I am grateful [Takara’s] calf only lived for 3 months in a concrete box deprived of all things natural. For Takara, my heart is broken in pieces.”
We should all mourn the loss of this life, and all the lives that are stolen by SeaWorld in exchange for money. For shame, SeaWorld, for shame.
To find out more about why SeaWorld ranked number 1 on our Ten Worst Tanks list, click here.