Featured Image Credit: SeaWorld
By Kira Krall
Takara is the 25 year old matriarch of the SeaWorld San Antonio orca pod, and just like everywhere else, each pod is truly a family. Currently, the experienced mom is giving her calf the standard orca treatment, and is tending to its every need.
Orca gestation lasts for around 18 months, and Takara’s SeaWorld caregivers monitored her every step of the way. Takara was already pregnant by the time SeaWorld made the 2015 announcement that it would end its orca shows by 2019.
‘Round the clock monitoring and care will continue for both mother and calf as Takara continues to bond with her newborn. However, they’re waiting for Takara to decide when her caretakers can come into contact with her baby to determine the sex and give it a physical check-up.
Takara’s baby is the youngest of three. Takara is already the mother of two daughters, Sakari and Kamea. She likes to spend time interacting with them and teaching them how to solve enrichment puzzles that the SeaWorld staff prepares for her.
This will be the last chance for visitors to get an up-close look at a juvenile orca. If you’re in the San Antonio area, you can view the matriarch and her new calf during special times, found here. This is also the last opportunity for scientists to study orca development from fetus to adulthood, something that is next to impossible in the wild.
Watch a video of Takara’s delivery below!