Sea World San Antonio is about to ring down the curtain on a tradition that is older than the park itself, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Sea World Parks said today that when Takara, a 25 year old Orca, gives birth to a calf in the coming weeks at the northwest side park, it will be the last killer whale to be born in captivity at Sea World.
Sea World announced last year that it was ending its captive breeding program, but Takara was already pregnant at the time.
Sea World says experts from St. Mary's University, as well as park veterinarians, will care for the calf when it is born.
Takara has three other calves, all born when she was at Sea World parks in San Diego, Orlando, and now San Antonio.
Sea World has made a major change in its public image in the last few years, largely under pressure from animal welfare groups and spurred by the documentary 'Blackfish,' which told the story of the Orca Tilikum, which killed a trainer at Sea World Orlando. Tilikum died last year.
Sea World is concentrating its efforts on being a conservation organization, donating money to groups which benefit sea life. It is switching many of its live animal shows to dolphins, although it will have 22 Orcas still in the parks and plans to continue the whale shows for several years.
PHOTO' SEA WORLD