Just days after her first-born passed away following a short illness, Katina, a 34-year-old killer whale, gave birth to her seventh calf at SeaWorld Orlando.
It was announced throughout the park that the 5:30 p.m. Shamu show, Believe, had to be canceled. A sign was posted listing the reason, there was a baby on the way.
Katina gave birth to the 7-foot-long, 350-pound calf in Shamu Stadium’s main pool at 7:28 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9, following 45-minutes of labor. Moments later, the baby whale instinctively swam to the surface for its first breath.
Mother Katina is an 18-foot-long, 5,400-pound killer whale. The father is Tilikum. The sex of the new calf can’t yet be determined.
“It’s a terrific day for all of us at SeaWorld,” said Kelly Flaherty-Clark, curator of animal training. “Katina is an experienced mom and she appears to be bonding quickly with her baby.”
SeaWorld veterinarians and trainers remain cautiously optimistic about the progress of the baby and her mother, and are encouraged by the bonding they’ve already seen.
This calf is the 27th killer whale born in SeaWorld parks (Orlando, San Diego, Calif., San Antonio, Texas). Sixteen whales have been born at SeaWorld Orlando.