Sick orca euthanized at SeaWorld

Sick orca euthanized at SeaWorld

SeaWorld now has 21 orcas at its three marine parks in Orlando, San Antonio and San Diego.

PETA (whose motto reads, in part, that "animals are not ours to use for entertainment") will be holding a memorial for Kasatka-the third orca and sixth marine mammal to die at SeaWorld this year-at the intersection of Sea World Drive and Sea World Way in San Diego today at 12 noon.

Regarding the question about the decision to euthanise, the post says: "Kasatka's veterinarians and caretakers made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize her to prevent compromising her quality of life" and said that she had had a harder time "fending off the illness" as she had aged.

SeaWorld has been under intense scrutiny since the 2013 documentary "Blackfish" suggested that the marine park's treatment of killer whales has prompted some gruesome attacks. SeaWorld said they chose to euthanize the whale after her "health and appetite significantly declined over the past several days, despite continually tailored treatments", according to a statement from SeaWorld.

In a statement, SeaWorld said: 'Following lengthy treatment for a bacterial respiratory infection, or lung disease, Kasatka's health and appetite significantly declined over the past several days, despite continually tailored treatments.

Both orcas are believed to have succumbed to infections.

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

The embattled marine park announced previous year it was ending its controversial captive-breeding program for orcas.

Kasatka was not born in captivity; but was captured in 1978 in Icelandic waters, according to the Associated Press.

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Tilikum killed trainer Dawn Brancheau in Orlando in 2010 by dragging her into the pool before shocked visitors after a "Dine with Shamu" show.

SeaWorld came under heavy pressure after the documentary Blackfish criticised the practices of keeping captive orcas.

Kasatka the killer whale performs during SeaWorld's Shamu show November 30, 2006, in San Diego.

At this time, the SeaWorld team's attention remains focused on the rest of the orca pod to provide the care and attention they need, officials said.

SeaWorld has 21 orcas left in the U.S. The youngest, Amaya, was born in December 2014.

Currently, there are 10 orca whales in the San Diego SeaWorld: five males and five females.

On Wednesday, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals decried the killer whale's life in captivity and recent death.

The group is calling for the company to release all of SeaWorld's orcas to sea pens or coastal sanctuaries.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund says SeaWorld worked to hide Kasatka's declining health for years before ultimately euthanizing her.

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