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Another Orca Whale has died at controversial water park SeaWorld – the third so far this year.
Kasatka, who was 42, was euthanized ‘following lengthy treatment for a bacterial respiratory infection, or lung disease’.
She was the pod matriarch, the grandmother of six, and the great grandmother of two.
A statement published by SeaWorld said: “Kasatka’s health and appetite significantly declined over the past several days, despite continually tailored treatments. Kasatka’s veterinarians, who are experts in marine animal medicine, and her caretakers made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize her to prevent compromising her quality of life.
“Kasatka passed away at approximately 8:15 p.m. surrounded by members of her pod, as well as the veterinarians and caretakers who loved her.
“All of us at SeaWorld are deeply saddened by this loss, but thankful for the joy she has brought us and more than 125 million park guests.”
Kasatka’s death was the third within eight months at SeaWorld. The park’s most famous whale Tilikum died in January. Kyara died at SeaWorld San Antonio three weeks ago – at just three months old.
This leaves the inmate toll of Orcas at SeaWorld San Diego at 10: five females and five males. There are six Orcas kept in captivity in its Orlando facility and five in San Antonio.
SeaWorld has faced controversy since the 2013 documentary Blackfish exposed inhumane practices at the park.
The resulting fallout has seen visitor numbers drop and the park’s stock plummet.
PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said: “The dead bodies at SeaWorld are stacking up about as fast as its stock is falling, with Kasatka dead just a few weeks after the death of her 3-month-old granddaughter.
“SeaWorld talks of “love” for her and her family, yet it made a business out of tearing her away from her family as well as ripping apart other bonded orcas and shipping them across the country, even separating Kasatka from her pod mate in 1984.
“The abusement park didn’t even respect this orca enough to give her a good-quality life, and it needs to send the remaining marine mammals to seaside sanctuaries before they follow Kasatka – and the 40 orcas before her – to the grave.”
John Hargrove, former SeaWorld training turned animal advocate, added: “I worked and swam with Kasata for many years, but now I am sickened that I ever was a participant in what captivity is, and more importantly what it does to these orcas.
“Even after being chronically ill and on massive amounts of drugs, SeaWorld forcibly impregnated her in August 2011 with the semen from a solitary captive orca in Argentina, creating a crossbred calf.
“They intentionally forced the nearly 18 month gestation and nearly two years of nursing, knowing Kasatka was chronically ill.
“Even today, after I urged the media to get answers, SeaWorld has never explained what appears to be massive fungal and bacterial lesions that covered her face and body.”