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RIP Kayla: The captive orca dies at SeaWorld Orlando; cause of death is a ‘mystery’

Dying at 30 is not normal. For an orca being 30 years-old is prime of life. Orcas in the wild have been known to live up to 80 or 90 years.

GABRIELLE RUSSON: ‘A 30-year-old orca at SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla., died after becoming ill over the weekend, the theme park said. It could take several weeks before SeaWorld finds out the cause of Kayla’s death. SeaWorld is monitoring the five other orcas that live in the Orlando park… “It is possible the other orcas could be affected socially by her passing, and the orca behaviorists will be monitoring the other whales closely,” SeaWorld said in a release…

Kayla had been otherwise healthy, SeaWorld said, until the first indication something was wrong Saturday afternoon when Kayla showed “signs of discomfort”… Kayla died with an animal care specialist who monitors the animals overnight at her side around 12:15 a.m… In September, Kayla was part of the park’s Killer Whale Up-Close Tour to teach visitors about the animals. Kayla was the second oldest captive-born orca ever, said Naomi Rose, a marine mammal scientist at the Animal Welfare Institute.

For an orca, “30 is prime of life,” said Rose, who works for the animal advocacy group that has been critical of SeaWorld in the past. “That’s like literally being a 30-year-old woman. Dying at 30 is not normal,” Rose said, pointing out orcas in the wild have been known to live up to 80 or 90 years. The average age for orca whales in the wild is 50 years after they survive the first six months, when they are most vulnerable, she said’.  SOURCE…

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