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Kasatka, SeaWorld Killer Whale, Dies After Lung Disease Battle

Kasatka, SeaWorld Killer Whale, Dies After Lung Disease Battle

Kasatka, the matriarch killer whale at SeaWorld San Diego, has died. (Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego via Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 18 August 2017 06:10 AM

San Diego SeaWorld's killer whale Kasatka, a mother of four, was euthanized Tuesday after she didn’t respond to treatment for bacterial lung disease.

SeaWorld said Kasatka’s appetite and health continued to decline despite treatment for the bacterial respiratory infection, which led to the decision to euthanize her. The whale had been under treatment for the disease for several years.

Kasatka was 42 years old and died surrounded by her pod members as well as caretakers and veterinarians who worked with her over the years at SeaWorld San Diego, according to a statement by the park.

In addition to her four offspring, she was grandmother to six and great grandmother to two, and was considered an older killer whale.

“Nobody knows more about caring for killer whales than the professionals at SeaWorld,” Association of Zoos and Aquariums President and CEO Dan Ashe said. “We’d like to thank our fans and friends for their outpouring of support during this difficult time.”

Kasatka’s death is the third orca death since January at the SeaWorld parks. Tilikum, the whale that killed trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010, died in January and 3-month-old Kyara died at SeaWorld San Antonio three weeks ago.

SeaWorld said it would be focused on the rest of its orca pod to ensure its health.

“I have spent the past several years with Kasatka and was truly blessed to be part of her life,” trainer Kristi Burtis said on SeaWorld's website. “Although I am heartbroken, I am grateful for the special time we had together ... and all we have learned from her.”

Twitter users were sad about the orca’s death but many blamed SeaWorld’s policies at least partly for her fate.

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San Diego SeaWorld's killer whale Kasatka, a mother of four, was euthanized Tuesday after she didn't respond to treatment for bacterial lung disease.
kasatka, seaworld, killer whale, dies
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2017-10-18
Friday, 18 August 2017 06:10 AM
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