SAN ANTONIO – SeaWorld San Antonio is preparing for the last orca birth at the company’s entertainment parks.
The calf is expected to be delivered in the next four to six weeks.
Sea World announced in March 2016 that it would end orca breeding but Takara, a 25-year-old orca originally from SeaWorld San Diego, was already pregnant when the announcement was made.
The gestation period for a killer whale is approximately 18 months.
The birth of Takara’s calf is also the last chance for researchers to study orca development in ways that cannot be done in the wild, helping to benefit whales in the wild as well as those in SeaWorld’s care, according to a SeaWorld news release.
Scientists will use the information that they learn from Takara and her calf to help the endangered southern resident killer whale population off the coast of Washington. The killer whale population in that region is threatened by pollution, overfishing and human development.
SeaWorld said it is committing $50 million in the next five years to help advocate for wild animals and protect the world’s oceans.
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