We are saddened to share that Taima, a 20-year-old killer whale at SeaWorld Orlando, died today from complications associated with the birthing process.
"We are very saddened by this loss,” said Dr. Chris Dold, vice president of veterinary services for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. "Although we understand that complications with pregnancy can occur here, just as they do in the wild, the loss of any animal affects all of us at SeaWorld.”
Taima had successfully given birth to three calves previously. Preliminary indications suggest that her death was caused by a condition in which the placenta is delivered before the fetus, as well as an unusual position of the fetus in the birthing canal. She was not able to deliver the stillborn fetus naturally; SeaWorld's veterinarians attempted to assist, but her complications were too severe.
A definitive cause of death will not be known until a necropsy is completed. The comprehensive medical process will be carried out by SeaWorld veterinarians and pathologists, and may take up to six weeks to complete.