Baby killer whale 'Kyara' dies at SeaWorld San Antonio

The killer whale calf had been battling an infection. Source @SeaWorld  Twitter

The killer whale calf had been battling an infection. Source @SeaWorld Twitter

"While the official cause of death won't be determined until the post-mortem exam is complete, through monitoring Kyara's behavior, and a physical examination, SeaWorld's veterinary and animal care teams identified that she had an infection, likely pneumonia, that they were aggressively treating", the park wrote on their website.

"She was surrounded by the dedicated teams that cared for her over the last three months and fought tirelessly for her over the last several days", the SeaWorld statement said.

The final killer whale born into captivity at a SeaWorld Park has died after suffering "some very serious and progressive health issues" her entire brief life, according to the park.

Takara is reported to be doing fine over the weekend along with the rest of the orca pod. That could take weeks.

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SeaWorld has not collected a wild orca in almost 40 years, and most of its orcas were born in captivity.

"Forty orcas have now died on SeaWorld's watch", wrote Colleen O'Brien, a spokeswoman for the animal rights group.

Recently, the company has opted to change some of its procedures - including putting an end to orca theatrics at its park in San Diego and planning an end to them at other locations such as San Antonio.

In an 840-word statement posted on its SeaWorldCares site, the Orlando-based company said Kyara was being treated for an infection.

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Tilikum, 35, became notorious for the deaths of three people during his time in captivity, featuring heavily in the £50,000, low-budget documentary "Blackfish" that went on to earn worldwide acclaim by highlighting the incredulity of keeping highly social, extremely intelligent whales in captivity.

She was conceived just before the company announced the end of its orca breeding program in March of past year: Gestation can last up to 18 months.

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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