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SeaWorld Says 30-Year-Old Orca Has Died

SeaWorld petitioned that its value be assessed at $10 million less than the Orange County Property Appraiser's assessment. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

SeaWorld says a 30-year-old orca died Monday morning in Orlando.

SeaWorld says the orca, named Kayla, began showing signs of discomfort Saturday. Veterinarians examined her and began treatment, but her condition worsened and she died.

The cause of death is not known. The results of a post-mortem examination will not be available for several weeks. An orca’s average lifespan is 19 to 50 years.

SeaWorld announced plans in 2016 to discontinue captive breeding killer whales, making this generation its last. Twenty orcas remain at SeaWorld parks nationwide, five in Orlando.

SeaWorld says Kayla inspired generations. The company says she died with her animal care specialists by her side and that the SeaWorld family is deeply saddened.

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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment for 90.7 News. She is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a regular contributor for NPR, PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor and many other top news organizations. Her in-progress book on the Everglades is under contract with Johns ... Read Full Bio »