We have great news to share with you!
SeaWorld announced the birth of a baby killer whale!
Kalia, daughter of Kasatka, gave birth to a healthy calf at 12:34 p.m. on December 2, 2014 at Shamu Stadium following about 2 hours and 15 minutes of labor. Veterinarians and zoological team members monitored the birth and made sure both mother and baby came through the experience with flying colors.
Kalia was not alone during the birth of her first calf. Her mother, Kasatka, and her brothers, 13-year-old Nakai and 22-month old Makani, were also in the pool with the new mother.
Kalia carried her calf for a 17-month gestation and the baby killer whale is estimated to weigh between 300 and 350 pounds and measure between 6 and 7 feet long.
That’s one big baby!
Immediately after being born, the calf instinctively swam to the surface of the water to take its first breath.
SeaWorld’s zoological team members say the mother and baby are doing well, but just like any other newborn, the first few days of life are extremely critical.
“Over the next few hours, we’ll be observing Kalia and the new baby,” said Kristi Burtis, supervisor of animal training. “It will be crucial for us to look for signs of mom and baby bonding and also the beginnings of nursing. It gets more and more exciting each time.”
Kalia’s calf marks the seventh killer whale birth at the park and brings the total number of killer whales in SeaWorld’s care to 31, with 11 being at SeaWorld San Diego.
The calf is unnamed for now and its gender is yet to be determined, but everyone at SeaWorld is so excited to welcome the baby killer whale into the world.
Congratulations are in order for the zoological team members, veterinarians and other departments who have been monitoring Kalia around the clock prior to the birth!
Check out this video and learn more: