SeaWorld Tragedies Continue As Female Killer Whale Dies While Giving Birth to Stillborn Calf

SeaWorld Tragedies Continue As Female Killer Whale Dies While Giving Birth to Stillborn Calf

Killer whale Taima, bottom, nudges her newborn calf toward the surface of the water for her first breath at SeaWorld on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2000, in Orlando, Fla. Taima died in child birth on June 6, 2010. ( (AP Photo/SeaWorld, Chris Gotshall, HO))

IDA is deeply saddened by the death of Taima, a long-suffering 20-year-old captive killer whale who died prematurely and unnaturally while giving birth to her stillborn calf yesterday at SeaWorld in Orlando. Her life was as upsetting as her death..

Captive breeding of killer whales by SeaWorld or other commercial aquaria does not contribute to meaningful conservation of the species since any surviving calf would not be released back into the wild. Instead, breeding programs simply replenish the population of imprisoned killer whales who normally die decades before their wild counterparts.  SeaWorld’s bottom line is to profit financially by using killer whales to entertain the public, not to protect wild killer whales and their habitats.

The father of Taima’s stillborn calf is Tilikum, the six-ton killer whale also held at SeaWorld in Orlando. Ever since he killed his trainer in February, he’s been stuck in yet a smaller tank where he floats listlessly at the surface because of the lack of space he has to barely turn around. Since he is not participating in any shows for the time being, his main worth to SeaWorld is his semen, which is taken from him to breed more animals and make more money.  Katina, a 32-year old killer whale also at SeaWorld in Orlando, is currently carrying his calf and is due in late October. 

What You Can Do:

Even if you have already responded to our previous requests for public comments, please do so again. Urge the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to phase out marine parks and, until then, create stricter regulations and oversight for facilities with public display permits, and prohibit any further captive breeding or captures of marine mammals from the wild. Please commemorate the death of Taima and her stillborn calf in the official public comment record. We must use this opportunity to urge NMFS to stop any further dolphin captive breeding programs including killer whales, the largest species in the dolphin family.

Please submit your polite comments
on or before this Thursday, June 10 at 5:00 p.m., EST.