Six-year-old orca dies unexpectedly at Sea World San Diego just one day after first showing signs that she was sick
- An orca named Amaya, six, fell ill on August 18 and died unexpectedly a day later at SeaWorld San Diego
- The cause of death remains unknown and a post-mortem exam is underway
- Amaya was the youngest orca at the SeaWorld location, where her mother and father still live
- According to SeaWorld’s website, a female orca’s life expectancy in captivity is 29 years – versus between 50 and 80 years in the wild
- The death comes as the park continues to face controversy over keeping orcas
- In 2014 SeaWorld San Diego announced plans to double the size of the orca tank but it never happened and nine whales still live in 6million gallons of water
Amaya’s death was met with a lot of criticism on social media by users who were unhappy that the orca lived her entire life in captivity.
‘She was meant to be born in the ocean. Captivity kills,’ one user tweeted.
Peta on Twitter has been a longstanding critic of SeaWorld on both coasts – slamming them for drugging, breeding and not properly caring for the orcas they are keeping at the park and starting the hashtag ‘BoycottSeaWorld’.
Many used the hashtag – along with ‘EmptyTheTanks’ – after hearing that Amaya died.
DailyMail.com has reached out to SeaWorld San Diego for comment.
It’s not the first time animal activists have used the hashtags to band together against SeaWorld. The park has faced a longstanding controversy over keeping orcas.
According to SeaWorld’s website, a female orca’s life expectancy in captivity is 29 years – versus between 50 and 80 years in the wild – while males are expected to live up to 17 years in captivity and about 30 in the wild.
In 2019 two ex-SeaWorld Orlando trainers claimed that the whales were drugged and deprived of food to encourage them to perform.
John Hargrove and Jeffrey Ventre alleged the animals ‘self-mutilated’ due to the stress of training and performing hungry by doing things such as grinding their teeth and popping their jaws.
Ventre also claimed that the whales would chew concrete and scratch each other with their teeth purely out of boredom.
If the whales became too aggressive, the ex-trainer said they were given Valium to calm down.
SeaWorld Orlando denied the accusations.
In 2014 SeaWorld San Diego announced plans to double the size of their killer whale tank – in a project dubbed the Blue World Project – in response to a wave of backlash they experienced after the release of the 2013 documentary Blackfish.
SeaWorld detailed plans to build 100million-gallon tanks that covered 1.5 acres and were 50 feet deep and 350 feet in length.
The habitat was supposed to include stimulating features for the whales such as a foe fast water current.
The original announcement said the facility was slated to open to the public four years later, with similar changes to be made at its Orlando and San Antonio locations to follow.
However, the new facility was never constructed and their tanks still only hold six million gallons of water for nine orcas.
Time to shut down all these shit holes and return the animals to where they belong – the wild.