SeaWorld welcomes its last killer whale calf

SeaWorld welcomes its last killer whale calf

The new calf was born to 25-year-old Takara, who was pregnant when SeaWorld announced that they planned to end killer whale breeding in 2016. (Source: SeaWorld/CNN) The new calf was born to 25-year-old Takara, who was pregnant when SeaWorld announced that they planned to end killer whale breeding in 2016. (Source: SeaWorld/CNN)

SAN ANTONIO, TX (RNN) - SeaWorld said that a killer whale calf was born on Thursday in San Antonio, TX - it will be the last orca born in the company's care.

The new calf was born to 25-year-old Takara, who was pregnant when SeaWorld announced that they planned to end killer whale breeding in 2016.

"This is an exciting and emotional day for us at SeaWorld, and we are all so proud to share this new killer whale calf with the world after a year and a half of planning and observing and providing all the special care," said Chris Bellows, vice president of zoological operations at the San Antonio park.

Marine biologists at SeaWorld have not yet determined the calf's sex.

SeaWorld has been criticized for its keeping of orcas since 2013's Blackfish, a documentary that argued captive orcas were being harmed physically and mentally.

Animal rights group PETA has also spoken out against the company. They want SeaWorld to release the animals "to a seaside sanctuary, where they may someday be reunited with Takara's mother, other children, and grandchildren."

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