It is with great sadness that SeaWorld announces that Kayla, a 30-year-old female orca, died the morning of Jan. 28, 2019, with her animal care specialists by her side. The exact cause of death will not be known until the results of a post-mortem examination are complete, which may take several weeks. The entire SeaWorld family is deeply saddened by the loss.
Kayla began showing signs of discomfort on Saturday (Jan. 26) afternoon. Her veterinarians immediately began treatment based on a physical examination. Unfortunately, her condition worsened through the next two days. Although animal care specialists and veterinarians devoted around the clock attention to Kayla, she did not survive.
While this is very difficult for all of us at SeaWorld, Kayla inspired generations of guests and employees to care and learn more about this amazing species.
At 12:15 a.m., on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, Kayla, a 30-year-old female orca, died at SeaWorld Orlando.
Was she sick?
Veterinarians and animal care specialists noticed Kayla showing signs of discomfort on Saturday (Jan. 26) afternoon. Kayla had been a healthy orca and had no major health concerns. The team immediately began treatment based on a physical examination. Her condition worsened on Sunday. Although animal care specialists and veterinarians devoted around the clock attention to Kayla, she did not survive.
Who was with Kayla when she died?
An animal care specialist who was responsible for overnight monitoring and care was with Kayla.
What type of medical treatment did she receive?
Her veterinarians began a regiment of medications based on her clinical presentation and the physical examination.
How is her animal care team dealing with Kayla’s death?
Any loss of a SeaWorld family member brings great sadness. Kayla’s care team shares a special bond with her and is deeply saddened by her death.
Will Kayla’s death affect the other orcas?
It is possible the other orcas could be affected socially by her passing, and the orca behaviorists will be monitoring the other whales closely. We don’t, however, anticipate any physical health issues amongst the other orcas.
How long will it take to get the results of the post-mortem exam?
Will you release the results of the post-mortem exam?
We will follow all federal and state guidelines for reporting an animal death.
How many orcas currently live at SeaWorld Orlando?
Five orcas: three females and two males.
How many whales do you have at the three SeaWorld parks?
20 in total.
Does this death have any impact on the changes SeaWorld has already made to its orca program?
In 2016, SeaWorld announced ending its orca breeding program and transitioning shows to a more educational presentation. We are not making any adjustment to this approach.