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The Last Orca To Be Born At SeaWorld Just Arrived

Takara the killer whale was already pregnant when SeaWorld announced it would stop its orca breeding program last year.
Posted at 9:13 AM, Apr 20, 2017

The last orca to be born at a SeaWorld park has arrived. 

Takara the killer whale gave birth to her calf Wednesday at SeaWorld's San Antonio park. 

"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," Chris Bellows, vice president of zoological operations, said in a statement.

Last year, SeaWorld announced it was ending its orca breeding program.

The change came after the 2013 documentary "Blackfish" highlighted SeaWorld's treatment of its orcas. 

The film focused on an orca named Tilikum, who was involved in the deaths of three people. Tilikum died earlier this year. 

After SeaWorld's 2016 announcement, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law making it illegal to breed orcas in captivity in the state. One of SeaWorld's parks is in San Diego. 

Takara was already pregnant when SeaWorld decided to end the breeding program. A killer whale's pregnancy lasts roughly 18 months. 

The gender of Taraka's calf hasn't been confirmed, and it has not been named yet. 

The calf will be the last orca to live in SeaWorld's care. The company has not brought in an orca from the wild in decades.