At 3:33 p.m. ET on Wednesday, SeaWorld welcomed its last orca born in captivity.
The birth at the SeaWorld in San Antonio, Texas, wasn’t streamed live — unlike with April the giraffe — but it will be the final chance for SeaWorld guests to see a baby orca grow up.
“This is an exciting and emotional day for us at SeaWorld and we are all so proud to share this new killer whale calf with the world,” Chris Bellows, SeaWorld’s vice president of zoological operations, said in a statement.
The as-yet-unnamed baby was born to 25-year-old Takara, the matriarch of the park’s pod. She was pregnant for about a year and a half, according to SeaWorld, and was already carrying the baby when the company announced last March that it would stop breeding orcas in captivity.
Why is biodiversity important to national marine sanctuaries?
“Biodiversity” refers to the variety of different types of species in a given ecosystem. Many national marine sanctuaries support enormous biodiversity. By protecting these ecosystems, we can ensure they thrive for future generations.
This elephant seal knows and will shout it out loud: biodiversity is an important and essential part of the National Marine Sanctuary System!
A young whale calf swims over its mother in the warm waters around Tonga in the Pacific Ocean. The young marine mammal, which could be as young as four days old, was spotted playing and swimming to the surface of the ocean carefully guarded by its mother
So my roundup of how fucking wacky batshit the grumps are in general got loads of notes, and I wanted to do a list of, y’know, their actual show’s best moments.
But we all know Battle Kid, Teletubbies, Mark Zuckerberg and all those sorts of classic moments, so I’ve, over several days, accumulated a number of my personal favourite moments that are underrated compared to the classics, because most of my personal favourite moments are. I’ve used quotes as titles that hopefully give the flavour of the moment without spoiling the moment itself.
After more than a year of waiting, the final orca to be born at a SeaWorld park made its arrival. At 3:30 p.m. EDT on April 19th, the calf was delivered to 25 year old Takara in front of a waiting staff at SeaWorld San Antonio. The baby appears to be doing well and is swimming with and nursing from their mother. Hopes are certainly high that the calf will survive this critical time in its life.
The mother, Takara, is certainly not new to raising calves. She has previously had six calves (counting the most recent), but only three of them are with her today. One of the babies was a miscarriage, and the other two, Trua and Kohana, were separated from her and sent to different parts of the globe.
Although the birth of a baby is certainly a wondrous thing, this moment is also bittersweet. On one hand this is the last killer whale to be born at a SeaWorld park, but on the other all this calf was brought into a life of captivity, something that has been proven time and time again to be tortuous to such intelligent animals. Even still, we must remain hopeful that one day captive orcas from across the globe will once again feel the ocean on their backs in a seaside sanctuary, a place where cetaceans can experience their natural habitat whilst still being under the care of humans. It’ll take a lot of advocacy, hard work, and dedication, but we will not give up. Let’s get to work!
A humpback whale and her calf, in Ha’apai, Tonga. Thousands of humpback whales make the arduous journey from their feeding grounds in Antarctica to warmer waters in the South Pacific during winter, where they mate and give birth.
The last baby killer whale to be born at a SeaWorld theme park has made its debut.
The company said it welcomed its newest aqua-animal when Takara, the 25-year-old matriarch of the SeaWorld San Antonio killer whale pod, gave birth to the calf Wednesday afternoon.
Takara was already pregnant when the company in March 2016 announced that it would be ending its breeding program for killer whales, which are also known as orcas. The program had come under criticism from animal-rights activists, especially since a 2013 documentary claimed that captivity was harmful to orcas. In addition to ending the breeding program, the company said in 2015 that it would be ending its killer whale shows by 2019. (Photo: SeaWorld/AP)
Harry Potter faced a
Hungarian Horntail during the Triwizard Tournament in Goblet of Fire,
armed with only his wand and the broom he beckoned with the Summoning Charm.
Hungarian Horntails can shoot
fire at quite a range; as far as 50 feet. Horntails are especially dangerous,
with yellow eyes, black scales, bronze horns and spikey tails.
The egg Hagrid wins from a hooded stranger in Philosopher’s Stone hatches into Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback, a baby dragon with spiny wings and a long snout. We eventually learn in Deathly Hallows that Norbert was actually a female dragon which, according to Charlie Weasley, are more vicious.They’ve been known to feed on water-dwelling creatures. For instance, in 1802 a Norwegian Ridgeback supposedly took a whale calf right off the coast of Norway.
The Antipodean Opaleye is one
of the most beautiful dragons; with shimmering scales, pupil-less, multi-coloured
eyes. It produces a very vivid scarlet flame.
It’s native to New Zealand
but has been known to migrate to Australia, where a male was once attributed to
a series of kangaroo killings in the 1970s.
This red beast is named for
the mushroom-shaped flame that comes from its nostrils when angered. Viktor
Krum faced one of these dragons in the Triwizard Tournament.
The Chinese Fireball is also
sometimes called ‘Liondragon’ and has a slew of golden spikes on the periphery
of its snub-snouted face. The dragon’s eggs are crimson and specked with gold,
and their shells are cherished among Chinese wizards.
These green dragons are
typically not as dangerous, preferring to feed on sheep instead of humans.
Fleur Delacour faced one in the Triwizard Tournament, escaping unscathed.
In 1932 a rogue Common Welsh
Green flew onto a beach of sunbathing Muggles. Their memories were subsequently
wiped by a vacationing family of wizards who were fortuitously at the scene.
The Welsh Green blends in well with grass and dwells mostly on a mountain-based
reservation established for its preservation.
Cedric Diggory bravely battled a Swedish Short-Snout in the Triwizard Tournament. This blueish-grey dragon has silvery skin that is used to make protective gloves and shields. It’s known for the blue flame that shoots from its nostrils.
These copper-coloured dragons have smooth scales and dangerously venomous fangs. While they’re the smallest known dragons, the breed has a taste for humans. In the late nineteenth century the International Confederation of Wizards was forced to send in exterminators to reduce their numbers.
These dragons are named for their long, golden horns that they use to stab prey. Their horns are so widely sought after that the breed started to reduce in numbers, prompting a breeding programme.
Their native Romania has become the location where wizards from around the world study dragons of all breeds.
Named for the Hebrides, the islands off the west coast of Scotland, these dragons can be up to 30 feet in length. The Hebridean Black is covered in rough scales and sharp ridges on its back. It has purple eyes, an arrow-shaped spike on its tail and bat-like wings.